Growth Form: Slimjim Bean is a forb/herb and a vine; this plant has variable growing conditions and may be observed growing upright or horizontal along the ground and it may also be climbing or trailing; the stems are covered with small hairs.
Leaves: Slimjim Bean has green leaves that are pinnatelycompound with 3 lobed triangular leaflets, unlike the stems, the leaves are usually without hairs.
Flower Color: Slimjim Bean has hot pink or pink-purple, pea-like flowers that are large and showy; the fruit is a curved, hairy, seed pod that breaks opens at maturity and releases its' seeds.
Flowering Season: October through November or December, or flowers throughout the year, especially after summer monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: 1,000 to 4,000 feet (305 - 1,219 m).
Habitat Preferences: Rocky soils on slopes and canyons or washes.
Recorded Range: Slimjim Bean is found in the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico. In Arizona Slimjim Bean is found in the central and southern portions of the state.
Threatened/Endangered Information: According to the California Native Plant Society, Rare Plant Inventory, Slimjim Bean, Phaseolus filiformis is listed as a California Rare Plant Rank; 2B.1.
2B plants are "Rare or Endangered in California" but common elsewhere. The additional designation of 0.1 means that the plant is "Seriously threatened in California - Over 80% of occurrences threatened / high degree and immediacy of threat."
Genus Information: In North America, USDA Plants Database lists 12 species and 6 accepted taxa overall for Phaseolus. Worldwide, World Flora Online includes 187 accepted species names and a further 21 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 7 species of Phaseolus, California and Utah each have 1 species, Nevada has 0 species, New Mexico has 6 species and Texas has 8 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
Comments: Slimjim Bean is closely related to the Garden Beans or String Beans Phaseolus vulgaris and Butter Beans or Lima beans, Phaseolus lunatus.
Slimjim Bean, Phaseolus filiformis has attractive flowers, the flowers and their seeds may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Slimjim Bean, Phaseolus filiformis has attractive flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, Native Bees and other insects in search of food and nectar.
The California Native Plant Society, has identified Slimjim Bean, Phaseolus filiformis, as a ∗likely host for the following Butterfly species;
Strymon melinus, Gray Hairstreak
Colias eurytheme, Orange Sulphur
Euptoieta claudia, Variegated Fritillary
Hemiargus ceraunus, Ceraunus Blue
Autographa californica, Alfalfa Looper Moth
∗"Likely" host plants all belong to a known host genus for the butterflies and moths native to this location, but the individual plant species have not been verified as host plants.
Plants shown as "likely" hosts for a given butterfly or moth must meet two requirements: 1. the genus of that plant species must be known to be eaten by the caterpillar of that butterfly or moth species, AND 2. the estimated natural geographic range of that plant species must overlap with the estimated natural geographic range of that butterfly or moth.
Learn more at Butterflies and Moths of North America, (BAMONA).
The genus “Phaseolus” is from the Ancient Greek word "phaselus" meaning a kind of bean with an edible pod.