Organic Tepary Bush Bean Seeds


10 in stock

Tepary beans are a semi bush legume that has a long history in the southwestern United States. Native peoples have grown these beans since the pre-Columbian times. Tepary beans are more drought-tolerant than the common garden bean and resistant to many bean diseases.

10 in stock

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Tepary beans are a semi bush legume with a long history in the southwestern United States. Native peoples have grown these beans since the pre-Columbian times. Tepary beans are more drought-tolerant than the common garden bean and resistant to many bean diseases. We received this beautiful bean from our friend Mike Reese of Rio Del Ray Beans.

The bean pots are small with flat, lentil looking beans inside. A culinary treat and packed with flavor, tepary beans should be cooked like any other bean.

Planting by Zones

Zones 9-10

  • Bush beans are best sown directly into the soil after the soil has warmed to at least 70°F. This is typically in late April or May. Bush beans, like all plants in the legume family, fix nitrogen in the soil.

Zones 2-8

  • Bush beans should be direct sown when the soil is at least 70 degrees.

Planting Bush Bean Seeds

  • Plant bush bean seeds 1” deep into well-worked and thoroughly watered garden soil. Beans should be planted in a full sun location.   
  • Fertilize regularly with an organic liquid fertilizer once the seedlings have germinated and have their first set of true leaves.
  • Beans can be planted as close to 7” apart.

Growing Bush Bean

  • Bush beans are incredibly easy to grow and are great for gardens with little space.  They do well in raised beds, in ground, and planted in containers.
  • Keep weed-free by pulling any weeds that may compete with your bush bean crop.

Succession Planting Bush Bean

  • If you enjoy large amounts of bush beans, succession planting is a good idea. Start a new round of seeds every 10 days.

Growing Bush Bean in Containers

  • Bush beans are an excellent container variety. If you are planting bush beans in containers, make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture.

Harvesting Bush Bean 

  • The key to happy bush beans is to harvest often. The more you harvest, the more beans you will get. Make sure you harvest your beans at the optimal size for fresh eating. If you wish to grow the beans for dry beans, simply let the beans dry on the vine and harvest for dry bean use. Any bean can be used as a fresh bean when it is young, and a dry bean when it is dry.

Southern California Pro-tips

  • In areas of Zones 9 and 10, bush bean is a very easy crop to grow.
  • Mulch heavily around your bush bean plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.
  • During our hottest months of August, September, and October, plants can suffer from the heat. During this time using shade cloth can help protect the plants from extreme heat.
  • Do not overhead water as this promotes disease.

Companion Flowers/Crops

  • Bush beans are small plants, so do not plant tall flowering plants or veggies in a direction that will shade your bush beans.

Additional Learning Resources

More on Tepary Beans and Recipes:

Tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius)

Tepary beans are a semi-bush bean originating in the desert areas of Mexico and the American Southwest. They grow best in extreme heat and under arid conditions. Tepary beans’ taproot is twice as long as common beans’ (Phaseolus vulgaris), which allows teparies to take advantage of even small amounts of soil moisture efficiently.

Nutritionally, tiny tepary beans (1/4” long, the size of large lentils) are higher in protein, iron, calcium, and fiber than most beans. Their nutritional benefits, sweet, nutty flavor, and relatively quick cooking time make teparies well worth searching out.

Jay Bost, in the June 2006 Seeds of Change newsletter, wrote a fascinating article about tepary beans. His discussion of the growing conditions under which teparies thrive makes me interested in trying them in Greece, which has the necessary hot, dry summers:

“Due to its native habitat in the Sonoran Desert, domesticated tepary beans … are considered by many to be the most drought-tolerant annual legume in the world. They are capable of producing a harvest of beans with a single rain in the harshest conditions; when irrigated, they produce higher yields only up to a certain point, after which excess moisture becomes a detriment and leads to overproduction of foliage and low bean production. In fact, it appears that moisture stress is necessary to trigger fruiting. Part of the tepary bean’s secret to success in dry areas is to grow quickly when water is available. While pinto beans take 90 to 120 days to maturity, teparies take only 75 to 85. As water shortages become a reality in many parts of the U.S. and around the world, teparies will undoubtedly play an important role in dryland agriculture. In fact, tepary cultivation is now taking place in dry areas of Africa and is being revived in southern Arizona.”

Bost details teparies’ nutritional benefits:

“Part of the tepary bean’s appeal, in addition to its drought tolerance, is its superior nutritional content. It has a higher protein content (23–30%) than common beans such as pinto, kidney, and navy, as well as higher levels of oil, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. While higher in all of these desired nutrients, tepary beans are lower in polyunsaturated fat and in the anti-enzymatic compounds, which make common beans hard to digest (Hamama and Bhardwaj 2002). Tepary beans are proving to be an ideal food for people prone to diabetes or suffering from diabetes because of the beans’ high fiber level. This makes them a “slow-release food”; that is, tepary beans’ sugars are released slowly and steadily, rather than in a spike as in many high carbohydrate, low fiber foods common in our diets.”

The Ark of Taste is a list of endangered food plants and animals that the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity seeks to protect and defend. Tepary Beans are now on the Ark of Taste.


Tuscan-Style Tepary Beans with Rosemary and Mushrooms


  • 1 cup dry Rio Del Rey Organic White Tepary Beans
  • 5 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • One bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Three fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups mushrooms of your choice, chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • One whole sprig fresh rosemary for garnish


  1. Rinse beans in water and soak overnight.
  2. Drain water from the beans and rinse them.
  3. Add the broth and the soaked beans to a large cooking pot.
  4. Add garlic, sage leaves chopped rosemary, bay leaf, black pepper, 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  5. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer beans, covered for at least two hours.
  6. When the beans are tender, and most of the broth has been absorbed, go through and mash about 1/3 of the beans using a fork. This will help thicken the beans to a creamy state upon serving.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and sage leaves; pour the beans into a pot. Add salt to taste.
  8. Warm a skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté on until they are crispy on the edges, and cooked through. Stir in 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and the flat-leaf parsley. Add a pinch of salt to the mushrooms if desired.
  9. Fold the mushrooms into the beans and pour the bean dish into a serving bowl. Top with the one fresh sprig of rosemary and serve! Delicious as leftovers too, these beans will last in the fridge up to a week when properly stored, tightly.


Tepary Bean Dip — A Healthy Snack

Here’s a link to the Chicago Tribune story, and the recipe is posted below.

Recipe Type: Appetizer

Author: Gwen Ashley Walters

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 4 cups

Serve with sliced vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, and jicama, or with crackers or tortilla chips, especially blue corn chips.


  • 1-1/2 cups dried tepary beans
  • Three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of half a lemon ~ 1 teaspoon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Three medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
  • 2 to 3 chiltepin chiles (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Garnish (optional):
  • One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Cilantro sprig


  1. Pick through the beans and remove any sticks or debris. Rinse well and drain. Place in a saucepan and cover with at least 4-inches of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender but not mushy, about 1-1/2 hours, adding more liquid as necessary to keep covered. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. Place the beans in a food processor. Pour in 3/4 to 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid (or water) and process until chunky. Add more cooking liquid or water if necessary to get a thick, dip-like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients (olive oil through sea salt) and blend until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if desired. Transfer to a bowl. May be made up to two days before serving. Store covered in the fridge. To serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, top with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with sliced vegetables, crackers, or tortilla chips.

Additional information

Weight0.4 g
Dimensions5.00 × 0.10 × 3.00 in

1lb, 1/2 lb, 9 grams


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