Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dry Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris 'Arikara Yellow'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Arikara Yellow

» View all varieties of Beans

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Days to Maturity:
81 to 90 days

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By tqmbill
Thumbnail #1 of Phaseolus vulgaris by tqmbill


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive straea On May 20, 2009, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Most of the small number of sources that offer this seed unfortunately don't note its biggest selling point - it sprouts in much cooler soil than most other garden beans. It can be planted at least a couple of weeks before the average last frost date in almost any climate. The Arikara in the name comes from the tribe in what is now the Dakotas, who were known to Europeans as the Arikara and had developed beans that would mature in the harsh climate and short growing season of the Dakotas. Lewis and Clark were the first Europeans to report "discovery" of the bean and according to Monticello's historic plant catalog (my original source for these, and highly recommended), these beans helped them survive a harsh winter during their explorations. It is called a dry bean both on this site and in many catalogs, because many modern people strongly prefer its taste as a dry bean to that of a snap bean. However, it's also perfectly fine to use as a snap bean.

This bean grows well in my garden, and is always the very first garden bean to sprout for me. I mostly grow pole beans, but this bean has more of a bush habit, though in my windy garden it is important to provide stakes even for dwarf beans/peas. It grows well in cooler temperatures and tends to be killed by consistently hot weather, so planting it earlier than most garden beans is also important to ensure a good harvest if you live in an area with hot summers. Try growing it this year - this will be the first garden bean you harvest, and you'll be helping to preserve a piece of plant history as you do.

Neutral Farmerdill On Oct 25, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seeds were originally obtained from the Arikara tribe of North Dakota and introduced in Oscar Willís 1915 Pioneer Indian Collection of Seeds. Prolific plants produce yellow-tan seeds that are excellent for use as a dry bean. Good drought tolerance. Bush habit, 80-90 days.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Somerville, Massachusetts
Boone, North Carolina

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