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Tepary Bean Seeds

3000 seeds, TEBE_S_WILD-3000+freepkt.cultivated $80.00 Out of stock
500 Seeds,TEBE_S-CULTIVATED Large-500+Pkt.WildTep $80.00 Out of stock
300 Seeds, TEBE_S-LOFTHOUSE_S-300 $60.00 Out of stock


This southwestern annual bean species is a vigorous vine growing 15-20 ft. in a single year. The massive flowering attracts a lot of pollinators. Its deep tap root as well as its nitrogen fixing capabilities is amazing. It can grow in the most hostile of environments and still produce a crop. These are rarely cultivated today, however improved selections of them have been grown and maintained by the native Americans in the southwestern U.S.  Many natural hybrids which have been named and propagated.

I grew the selections of the wild types from the Native Seeds. I grew the Joseph Lofthouse land race or these crosses as well. The wild types were just not very productive here but did produce a large quantity of very small and tiny beans that ripened very late. Over time, I selected those for earlier ripening. The cultivated large beans were from selections made from earlier ripening crosses with larger beans. They are similar to other named selections that appear in the tepary bean selection of Native Seeds.  The Lofthouse land race was more of a typical pole bean with a shorter season with all the pods filling and ripening in October. They are solid white in color. To sum up: 

Three types are offered:

Wild Types : Pole type Early ripening very small beans that ripen late in the season. Very vigorous vines with heavy flowering. Not as practical to grow to eat due to the small size of the beans.

Cultivated Large: Pole type Early ripening larger flat brown beans with good yields and ease of collection and use. A notch up from the wild ones in terms of actually harvesting and eating them.

Lofthouse White:  Pole type beans with larger white round beans produced in great profusion. Even more practical than the above two selections for harvesting and eating. Worth growing for eating. 

In Michigan, this species ripens late because we just do not have the heat units that New Mexico has. Over the years I have intentionally selected only the early ripening seedlings and began cultivating them. As time went on, I kept the most vigorous plants along with early ripening as the main characteristics to select for without hybridity in them. The size of the wild tepary beans are very small but it could be a secondary crop to some extent providing both nitrogen and a dried bean crop.  This is a cool looking foliage type annual bean and would be a good bean to cover fences and trellis. Although not named selections, this wild form shows the most promise as a wild annual bean to be used in seed mixes on soil reclamation sites as well as a possible wild bean for edible use. Its low water usage and its high vigor with ability to grow in poor and rocky soil make it a plant with great potential between the worlds of agriculture and ecology. It could easily be used outside of its native range in the southwestern U.S. The foliage is always clean even in high humidity years. Beans begin to ripen starting in 70 days and goes through 90 to 120 days. Pods will automatically split once dried indoors to release the beans. 

To germinate the seed:  Plant after frost 1/8 inch deep. Seeds will sprout slowly as they have a rather tough seed coat. It might be wise to soak the seeds overnight first or at least long enough to see the seeds swollen to twice their size before planting. This will speed germination. The wild selections may benefit from a light sanding to break the seed coat a bit which allows water to penetrate faster.  These are small seeds. Keep the top soil moist if possible for a week or two to aid in germination.  The wild forms will also cross with this landrace as well. 

Plant Specs
Genus & Species Phaseolus acutifolius
Seed Source Michigan
Height (ft) 10-20 ft.
Width (ft) One plant can spread with branching 10 ft. wide easily.
Soil Likes dry hot conditions with rocky soil but tolerant to other soils.
Ease of Cultivation Ripening in 70-90 days this vine is perfect for covering fences as well as producing a secondary bean crop that can be harvested and dried for later use. The rich flavor and nutrition is a good reason to grow it.

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