Hidatsa Shield Bean

SKU: 0203-P50

Item Details

From the Hidatsa tribe who raised corn, squash, beans, and sunflowers in the Missouri River Valley of North Dakota. Shield Figure beans are described in Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden (1917). This very productive variety was boarded onto Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste in 2005.

  • 90 days
  • ±600 seeds/lb
  • Conventional
  • Pole bean
  • Dry bean
  • White beans with tan and brown markings
  • Very productive

This variety works for:

  • Baking
  • Soup

These beans liked to be cooked long and slow at low heat to keep their texture and flavor at it's peak. You can substitute these beans in any recipe calling for white or pinto beans such as soup or stew.

Growing Instructions

Instructions - Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed and soil and air temperatures have warmed. Harvest dry beans when the pods are completely mature and dry.

  • Direct Seed: 2" Apart
  • Seed Depth: 1"
  • Support: Trellis, tepee, or fencing
  • Light: Full Sun

Ratings & Reviews

6 reviews

Gosh, they're good


These beans have good germination, climb high, and are prolific. This is my second year planting them, and I'm growing even more this year. Next year, even more. For one thing, dry beans are low-maintenance, which my poor old body likes. I channel Buffalo-Bird Woman when I plant these. Most important, they cook up delicious.

First time grower


This was my first year growing this variety, and I’m saving seed for next year! Germination was excellent, and other than running a hoe along the row and giving them a net to climb, I did nothing for them. But one of my favorite parts was how easy they are to shell. I let them dry on the vine until Oct 1 here in Central Minnesota, and barely had to squeeze the pod to make them burst. Great bean to start my grandson growing, easy to grow and fun to harvest.

Bush, not pole


Contrary to the information on Seed Savers, I actually found these to be bush beans. Even when planted close to corn or supports, the plants prefer bushing to climbing.

They make beans about half a thumbnail in size. Harvest them quickly or else they're prone to sprouting in shell.

Overall, the color is great and you should get quite a few beans per plant.



I grew these tenacious beans up some corn, which unfortunately shaded them in late summer and I think limited productivity but the beans I did get are gorgeous and so incredibly tasty!! Am saving seed and will grow again next year

Missing seeds in my packets


I bought 3 packets of Hidatsa Shield beans of 50 seeds each. I am disappointed to see that one seed packet came with 25 seeds, and the other two seed packets came with 35 seeds each therefore i am missing a whopping 55 seeds. Cannot comprehend how that could have happened. I have written to complain and was told they will send a replacement. I am still waiting. Customer service has gone silent despite my request for updates.

We are working on sending your replacement packets. Please contact me at jholland@seedsavers.org.

Tasty, beautiful, and unique


These are the best tasting dry bean I’ve grown. They seem to prefer climbing sunflowers over corn. I live in far northern MN so they may not be as prolific as more southern areas but we still get mature beans. The pods turn brown but I usually dry them more after harvest. They do shell really easily and are really fat after cooking. Makes a hearty meal!