Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tepary Bean
Phaseolus acutifolius 'Mitla Black'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: acutifolius (a-kew-ti-FOH-lee-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Mitla Black

» View all varieties of Beans

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:
Unknown - Tell us

Growth Habit:

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Days to Maturity:
61 to 70 days
71 to 80 days

Bloom Color:

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

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


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NicoleC On Mar 28, 2013, NicoleC from Madison, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

Virtually pest free, has good taste and is very productive. Climbs to about 4' tall. Can handle drought. A good dried bean for places with hot summers, but wait until the soil is very warm before planting.

Neutral btc129psu On Sep 15, 2007, btc129psu from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Sometimes referred to as a P. vulgaris, I think it is a true tepary bean and therefore a P. acutifolius. Does well in xeric conditions but appears to grow better with moderate watering. I have also had equal success growing this plant in both temperate Pennsylvania (in summer of course) and subtropical Texas. I have come across a lot of contradictory information on this plant and as of yet have not been able to grow in enough to prove or disprove many of these comments. While it was sold to me as a climbing bean, lanky is probably more descriptive. For me it seemed to grow more as a bush bean although perhaps environmental conditions make some difference. While it did fine in mildly acidic soils I have also heard that alkaline (like the semi-desert regions is originaly came from) are preferred. It also did well under neglect of watering but was definitely more lush and productive with a good dousing every now and again. The beans also make an interesting looking blue-black dye you will notice when soaked and supposedly the green pods can be eaten raw. Overall this seems to be a very adaptable Tepary suitable for a wide range of conditions. Good then I suppose if you want some of that southwest flavor but live in a more temperate zone.


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

Madison, Alabama
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Houston, Texas

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