Ethnohistorically, wild and domesticated teparies (Phaseolus acutifolius: Leguminosae) are significant native food crops in southwestern North America. Their value rests in adaptations to arid environments, and high protein content and productivity. Use of wild teparies appears to be discontinued, but certain domesticated varieties are still grown by local commercial and subsistence farmers. The recent subsidence of tepary cultivation is related to breakdown of traditional economies and land use, and to the introduction of energy-intensive irrigated agriculture. An earlier and unsuccessful attempt to introduce teparies into modern agriculture was poorly timed. Teparies have considerable potential for low maintenance agriculture in arid and semi-arid lands.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science