The Black Mitla Tepary Phaseolus acutifolius. Productive heirloom, with sprawling bushes.
Black Mitla Tepary Phaseolus acutifolius
Phaseolus acutifolius, the Tepary bean, is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico and has been grown there by the native peoples since pre-Columbian times. It is more drought-resistant than the common bean. Also is grown in desert and semi-desert conditions from Arizona through Mexico to Costa Rica. The water requirements are low and the crop will grow in areas where annual rainfall is less than 400 mm (16 in).
The tepary bean is an annual and can be climbing, trailing, or erect with stems up to 13 ft long. A narrow leafed, variety tenuifolius, and a broader leafed, variety latifolius, are known. Domestic varieties are derived from latifolius. In the Sonora desert, “the flowers appear with the summer rains, first appearing in late August, with the pods ripening early in the fall dry season, most of them in October. The beans can be of nearly any color. There are many local landraces. Beans vary in size but tend to be small. They mature 60 to 120 days after planting.