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Useful Tropical Plants

Phaseolus acutifolius

A.Gray

Fabaceae


The cultivated forms were formerly called var latifolius. This was recently recognized as an obsolete synonym of var acutifolius (formerly considered to be a wild form of the species). This means that this variety comprises both wild and cultivated populations[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

+ Synonyms

Phaseolus pauper Standl.

Phaseolus tenuifolius (A.Gray) Wooton & Standl.

Phaseolus montanus Brandegee

Phaseolus acutifolius latifolius G.F.Freeman

Common Name: Tepary Bean

Phaseolus acutifolius
Close-up of the flower
Photograph by: Anthony Mendoza
Creative Commons License
Phaseolus acutifolius Phaseolus acutifolius Phaseolus acutifolius

General Information

Phaseolus acutifolius is a herbaceous, annual plant growing from a fibrous rootstock. It produces weak stems that either trail over the ground or twine around other plants for support[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The plants vary widely in height according to cultivar, with dwarf forms only 30cm tall and large forms up to 4 metres tall[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
,
1555
Title
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Ecology of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and
Publication
SIda, Botanical Mlscellany, No 23
Author
Freytag G.F. & Debouck D.G.
Website
http://www.brit.org/sida
Publisher
Botanical Researeh Institute of Texas
Year
2002
ISBN
1-889878-11-1
Description
An excellent, detailed study of the genus Phaseolus, it has been made available on-line as an open access document.
].
The plant is grown mainly for its edible seed and is said to have been in cultivation for over 5,000 years in southwestern N. America[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. Nowadays it is grown mainly in south-western USA and Mexico as a traditional pulse crop, though it is also cultivated, mostly on a small scale, in further parts of USA; Central America; the West Indies; Chile; Australia; S Asia; E and W Africa (Uganda, Mali, Senegal)[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. After World War II the cultivation decreased drastically in the traditional areas, the crop however is nowadays once more gaining interest[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

The seed contains various antinutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitors, flatulent oligosaccharides and phytic acid[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The lectin activity is exceptionally high, but is readily reduced by cooking; whereas cyanogenic glucosides have not been detected[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Consumption of raw tepary bean flour has been recorded to cause death in mice and rats within 3 - 4 days, but soaking and cooking the seeds eliminated toxicity completely[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Botanical References

1555
Title
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Ecology of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and
Publication
SIda, Botanical Mlscellany, No 23
Author
Freytag G.F. & Debouck D.G.
Website
http://www.brit.org/sida
Publisher
Botanical Researeh Institute of Texas
Year
2002
ISBN
1-889878-11-1
Description
An excellent, detailed study of the genus Phaseolus, it has been made available on-line as an open access document.

Range

Central America - ?Guatemala; Southwest N. America - southern Mexico north to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Habitat

Usually found growing along srream beds and dry washes in pine-oak forest, scattered among small bushes and cacti[
1555
Title
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Ecology of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and
Publication
SIda, Botanical Mlscellany, No 23
Author
Freytag G.F. & Debouck D.G.
Website
http://www.brit.org/sida
Publisher
Botanical Researeh Institute of Texas
Year
2002
ISBN
1-889878-11-1
Description
An excellent, detailed study of the genus Phaseolus, it has been made available on-line as an open access document.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual Climber
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsInsects, Self
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Phaseolus acutifolius is a plant mainly of the drier subtropics, though it can also be grown in tropical areas at elevations up to 1,900 metres so long as the climate is not excessively wet[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual temperature within the range 20 - 30°c, but can tolerate 8 - 38°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
] It cannot be grown in areas where night temperatures fall below 8°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 600 - 1,000mm, tolerating 300 - 1,700mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Excessive rainfall may create vegetative growth at the expense of seed yield[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The plant can withstand heat and a dry atmosphere, though only very few varieties are suited for the wet tropics[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Requires a sunny position[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in most soils that are well-drained[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in poor, shallow soils[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Established plants are rather drought resistant[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, but tolerates 5 - 8[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The crop can be grown on residual soil moisture[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Often cultivated for its edible seed, there are many cultivated forms with seeds considerably larger than the wild forms[
1555
Title
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Ecology of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and
Publication
SIda, Botanical Mlscellany, No 23
Author
Freytag G.F. & Debouck D.G.
Website
http://www.brit.org/sida
Publisher
Botanical Researeh Institute of Texas
Year
2002
ISBN
1-889878-11-1
Description
An excellent, detailed study of the genus Phaseolus, it has been made available on-line as an open access document.
]
The species is highly daylength sensitive, growmg under natural field conditions during the long days of summer and beginning to bloom in late summer when daylength has fallen to around 13 hours[
1555
Title
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Ecology of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and
Publication
SIda, Botanical Mlscellany, No 23
Author
Freytag G.F. & Debouck D.G.
Website
http://www.brit.org/sida
Publisher
Botanical Researeh Institute of Texas
Year
2002
ISBN
1-889878-11-1
Description
An excellent, detailed study of the genus Phaseolus, it has been made available on-line as an open access document.
].
Flowering occurs within 27 - 40 days from germination[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
First harvest may be taken in as little as 60 days in the tropics, though in cooler climates it can be up to 120 days from sowing[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The seeds of many domesticated types of tepary bean are shattered less easily than those of wild types[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Average yields of dry seed under dry conditions are reported to be 450 - 800 kg/ha and with irrigation 0.9-1.7 t/ha[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
In areas of poor rainfall, tepary bean has possibilities as a catch-crop where a rapid food supply is needed[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Mature seeds - dried[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. They are used as dry shell beans to make soups[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. They are also ground into a flour; fried; parched; or processed into a meal for commercial use[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Tepary beans have a strong flavour and odour and are less palatable than common beans[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The seedpods are 40 - 100mm long, 5 - 13mm wide and 4 - 8mm thick, containing 2 - 9 oblong to rounded seeds 4 - 10mm long, 4 - 7mm wide and 2 - 5mm thick[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
,
1555
Title
Taxonomy, Distribution, and Ecology of the Genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and
Publication
SIda, Botanical Mlscellany, No 23
Author
Freytag G.F. & Debouck D.G.
Website
http://www.brit.org/sida
Publisher
Botanical Researeh Institute of Texas
Year
2002
ISBN
1-889878-11-1
Description
An excellent, detailed study of the genus Phaseolus, it has been made available on-line as an open access document.
]. On storage, the dry seeds become very hard and take a very long time to cook[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Cultivars with white seeds have a more permeable seedcoat than cultivars with black seeds, resulting in a shorter cooking time[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The young, green seedpods are occasionally eaten[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The seeds can be sprouted and then eaten cooked or in salads[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The leaves are considered edible in parts of Africa, but they are tougher than those of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and take longer to cook[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

The plant is bitten and held between the teeth as a traditional treatment for toothache[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Tepary bean has occasionally been grown as a green manure, e.g. in the United States[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It may also be used as a cover crop and an intercrop in agroforestry systems[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

The seed of cultivated forms absorbs water easily; in moist soils the testa wrinkles within 5 minutes, whilst when soaked in water the testa wrinkles in 3 minutes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. This leads to quick and even germination[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The rate of germination increases with increasing temperatures from 10 - 35°c[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Seedling emergence is faster in white-seeded than in dark-seeded types[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The seed of wild forms usually has a hard seedcoat and will benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
The seeds of domesticated types have no dormancy, which is a disadvantage in humid regions, where fallen seeds will germinate rapidly[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-12-13. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Phaseolus+acutifolius>

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