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Overview

Brief Summary

Phaseolus lunatus, butter bean or lima bean, is an herbaceous plant in the Fabaceae (legume or bean family) native to Central and South America, now cultivated in warm, semi-tropical regions throughout the world for its beans, which can be eaten fresh (generally without the bean pods) or dried (although they must be cooked for at least 10 minutes, or treated by fermentation, to destroy toxic cyanogenic glycosides).

P. lunatus includes a large-seeded type, the butter bean, thought to have been domesticated in Peru around 4,000 years ago—hence the common name, lima bean, for the capital of Peru, although the latter name may also refer to the beans from the species P. limensis (which is sometimes classified as a variety of P. lunatus)—and imported to Africa and Madagascar by way of Brazil, A second, smaller-seeded variety, the sieva, was developed later, probably in Central America and Mexico around 500 years ago, and introduced from there to the Philippines and other parts of Asia by the Spaniards.

Plants of both varieties are perennial, but are generally grown as annuals, and have erect bush forms, which grow to around 1 m (3.25 ft) tall, and twining forms, up to 4 m (13 ft) long. Plants have trifoliate compound leaves with oval leaflets, each up to 9 cm (3.5 in) long. The white to yellow flowers, which occur in loose, open unbranched clusters (racemes) develop into broad, flat pods up to 9 cm long. This species requires a long, warm growing season for beans to develop.

Butter beans, which are high in protein, vitamins B and C, and various minerals (including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium) are sometimes picked when green, shelled, and prepared as a cooked vegetable with a relatively short cooking time (or frozen or canned). More often, however, the beans are harvested when the pods have fully matured and dried. The dried beans are then soaked and cooked for several hours, and cooked into numerous soups, stews, and meat dishes. Dried beans, including this species, are an important source of protein in many parts of Africa, southeast Asia, and South America.

The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that total commercial production of dried beans (which includes butter beans but also beans of other species and numerous varieties) was 23.23 million metric tons worldwide in 2010, harvested from 29.92 million hectares. India was the leading producer, responsible for 21% of total production, followed by Brazil, Myanmar, China, the U.S., and Mexico. Within the U.S., the major dried-bean producing states in 2007 were North Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Idaho, although California produces a large share of lima beans.

(Bailey et al. 1976, USDA 2012, van Wyk 2005.)

  • Bailey, L.H., E.Z. Bailey, and the L.H. Bailey Hortatorium. 1976. Hortus Third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. New York: Macmillan. p. 854.
  • USDA. 2012. Vegetables and pulses: dry beans. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Online report accessed 17 July 2012 from http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/vegetables-pulses/dry-beans.aspx.
  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. “Phaseolus lunatus.” Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide. Portland, OR: Timber Press. p. 289.
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Phaseolus lunatus) probably originated in the Andes. The current geographic range of wild Lima beans in Central and South America was probably shaped by a fragmentation event in the northern Andes, isolating populations that continued to evolve independently, and by migration into Central America after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama. A third region that appears to harbor a genetically distinct group is the area to the west and northwest of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico.

Lima Beans were likely domesticated independently in both Central and South America. Archaeologists have found samples dating back to 5000 B.C.E. Today, Lima Bean is found in many tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate parts of North America, Africa, and Asia. Depending on the cultivar, the plant may be a small annual bush (30 to 90 cm in height) or a large climber (2 to 4 m tall). It may be grown as an annual or perennial. The seeds are variable in size (1 to 3 cm in length), shape, and color (white, cream, red, purple brown, black, or mottled). The dried beans are used as pulses. In the United States, the world's largest producer, the immature seeds are frozen or canned (Madagascar and Peru are also major Lima bean producers). The pulse yields a protein-rich flour which is added to bread and noodles in the Philippines and is used in bean paste in Japan. The pods and leaves may also be eaten. The pulse contains 20% protein, 1.3% fat, and 60% carbohydrates (the immature seeds [beans] contain less of these constituents and more water). The mature beans contain the glycoside linamarin, which can produce toxic hydrocyanic acid (prussic acid), although the amount produced varies among cultivars and the United States regulates the concentration allowed commercially. Soaking and boiling the seeds in water, which should be changed during the process, addresses this problem.

(Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Serrano-Serrano et al. 2010)

  • Serrano-Serrano, M.L., J. Hernández-Torres, G. Castillo-Villamizar, D.G. Debouck, and M.I. Chacón Sánchez. 2010. Gene pools in wild Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) from the Americas: Evidences for an Andean origin and past migrations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54: 76-87.
  • Vaughan, J.G. and C.A. Geissler. 1997. The New Oxford Book of Food Plants (revised and updated edition). Oxford University Press, New York.
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Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, high Altitude, Cultivated, Native of Tropical America"
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Distribution

Range Description

Altitude of 1,200–1,300 m.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Distribution: In areas of degraded vegetation, along trails, on fences, and in thickets. Also in the Antilles. Probably native to tropical continental America, where it is widely cultivated. Introduced in the tropics of the Old World.

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"Maharashtra: Pune, Satara Karnataka: Chikmagalur Tamil Nadu: Dindigul, Nilgiri"
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Distribution: Native of Tropical America, now widely cultivated throughout the tropics of the world including Pakistan.
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Cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Perennial climber, stem glabrous or pubescent. Leaf trifoliolate, petiole 1.5-19 cm long; leaflets 3-15 cm long, 1.2-10 cm broad, the lateral leaflets oblique, ovate to lanceolate or narrowly rhombic; acuminate, sparsely pubescent or glabrous; petiolules 3-5 mm long; stipules 2-3.5 mm long. Inflorescence a peduncled raceme; peduncle 1.5-30 cm long. Bracts 1.5 mm long, bracteoles 1.5-2.0 mm long. Pedicel 5-10 mm long. Calyx pubescent, tube 1.5-2.5 mm long, teeth 5-8 mm long, upper 2 joined to form an emarginate lip. Corolla white, yellowish or pale rose. Vexillum 5-7 mm long, sparsely pubescent or glabrous externally. Keel 10-14 mm long, spirally twisted for 1½ turns. Fruit 5-10.5 cm long, 1.2-2.5 cm broad, oblong-falcate or oblong, 3-4-seeded, glabrous or pubescent.
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Physical Description

Annual, Perennial, Herbs, Vines, twining, climbing, Woody throughout, Taproot present, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems or branches arching, spreading or decumbent, Stems less than 1 m tall, Stems 1-2 m tall, Stems greater than 2 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Stems or young twigs sparsely to densely hairy, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules inconspicuous, absent, or caducous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules persistent, Stipules free, Leaves compound, Leaves pinnately 3-foliolat e, Leaves odd pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Stipels present at base of leaflets, Leaflets 3, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence axillary, Bracts conspicuously present, Bracteoles present, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx 4-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals white, Petals greenish yellow, Banner petal suborbicular, broadly rounded, Banner petal auriculate, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Keel abruptly curved, or spirally coiled, Keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, Keel petals fused on sides or at tip, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Style spirally coiled, Style hairy, Fruit a legume, Fruit unilocular, Fruit freely dehiscent, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit strongly curved, falcate, bent, or lunate, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit explosively or elastically dehiscent, Valves twisting or coiling after dehiscence, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit hairy, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds white or off-white, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Elevation Range

1100-2100 m
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Diagnostic Description

Phaseolus lunatus L., Sp. Pl. 724. 1753.

Fig. 110. F-I

Herbaceous vine, twining, attainig 5-6 m in length. Stems obtuse-pentagonal or cylindrical, puberulent. Leaves alternate, trifoliolate; leaflets chartaceous, the apex acute or short-acuminate, the margins sinuate; upper surface dark green, dull, glabrous, with slightly prominent venation; lower surface pale green or glaucous, glabrous, with the primary and secondary venation prominent; terminal leaflet 5.5-11 × 3.5-7.5 cm, rhombic or deltate, the base cuneate or truncate; lateral leaflets asymmetrically deltate, the base truncate; petiolules thickened, 3-5 mm long, pubescent; rachis 1.5-2.5 cm long; petioles 6.5-9 cm long, sulcate, puberulent, the base slightly broadened. Inflorescences of axillary pseudoracemes, erect, 3-30 cm long, the flowers in groups of 2 per node of the inflorescence; pedicels 6-9 mm long, pilose; bracteoles minute, oblong. Calyx 2-2.5 mm long, green, campanulate, pilose, the sepals deltate, subequal; corolla white or lilac, pink or bluish, the standard semicircular, 7-10 mm long, abaxially pilose, the wings obovate, unguiculate, as long as the standard, the keel spirally twisted, ca. 1 cm long; stamens 10, diadelphous, the vexillar stamen broadened at the base; ovary with hispidulous pubescence, intermingled with uncinate hairs. Fruit an oblong-falcate legume or in the form of a half-moon, flattened, 5-7 × 1-2 cm, puberulent with uncinate hairs or glabrescent, dehiscent by valves that open in a spiral. Seeds reniform, flattened, ca. 7 mm long, reddish brown, with dark spots.

Phenology: Collected in flower and fruit from December to June.

Status: Exotic, cultivated and naturalized, locally common.

Selected Specimens Examined: Acevedo-Rdgz., P. 3741; Britton, N.L. 2068; Goll, G.P. 587; 673; 705; Liogier, A.H. 10810; Sintenis, P. 3110; 5778; Stevenson, J.A. 1979.

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Diagnostic

Habit: Climber
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Type Information

Isotype for Phaseolus viridis Piper
Catalog Number: US 942171
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. von Türckheim
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Cubilquitz, Depart. Alta Verapaz., Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America
Elevation (m): 350
  • Isotype: Piper, C. V. 1926. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 22: 693.
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Holotype for Phaseolus viridis Piper
Catalog Number: US 576636
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): H. von Türckheim
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Cubilquitz, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Central America
Elevation (m): 350 to 350
  • Holotype: Piper, C. V. 1926. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 22: 693.
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Isotype for Phaseolus rosei Piper
Catalog Number: US 1326446
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. N. Rose
Year Collected: 1918
Locality: Ecuador, South America
  • Isotype: Piper, C. V. 1926. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 22: 694.
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Holotype for Phaseolus rosei Piper
Catalog Number: US 1241201
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. N. Rose
Year Collected: 1918
Locality: Huigra., Chimborazo, Ecuador, South America
  • Holotype: Piper, C. V. 1926. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 22: 694.
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Holotype for Phaseolus rosei Piper
Catalog Number: US 1241201A
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. N. Rose
Year Collected: 1918
Locality: Huigra., Chimborazo, Ecuador, South America
  • Holotype: Piper, C. V. 1926. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 22: 694.
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Possible type for Phaseolus rosei Piper
Catalog Number: US 1326447
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. N. Rose
Year Collected: 1921
Locality: Huigra., Chimborazo, Ecuador, South America
  • Possible type: Piper, C. V. 1926. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 22: 694.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: Well adapted to lowland tropics, particularly to the highly leached, infertile soils of the more humid regions.

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Associations

Known Pests: CERCOSPORA, RUST, ROOT-KNOT NEMATODES, VIRUSES, INSECT PESTS.

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General Ecology

Can become a reservoir of diseases and pests that can spread to other crops, especially to other pulses.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Persistence: ANNUAL, PERENNIAL

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Phaseolus lunatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phaseolus lunatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Phaseolus vulgaris

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phaseolus vulgaris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 43
Specimens with Barcodes: 52
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Neill, D. & Pitman, N.

Reviewer/s
Valencia, R., Pitman, N., Léon-Yánez, S. & Jørgensen, P.M. (Ecuador Plants Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
A vine endemic to the western Andes of Ecuador, where it is known only from the type, collected in 1918 in the Río Chanchán valley, near Huigra, in Chimborazo province. The area's natural vegetation has been heavily disturbed. Apart from habitat destruction, no specific threats are known.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Can still be found growing wild in the Caribbean area as well as in Central and South America. 4500 year old seeds from crops grown in Peru have been found.

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Leaf: Juice mixed with coconut oil or castor oil is administered to children to improve their strength; for fever and as an emetic.

  • May, A.F. 1982. Surinaams Kruidenboek (Sranan Oso Dresi). 80 pp. Paramaribo, Surinam: Vaco; and Zutphen, The Netherlands: De Walburg Pers.

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Economic Uses

Uses: FOOD, Vegetable/potherb, Seed/nut

Production Methods: Cultivated

Comments: Cultivated as a food plant. It is toxic only under specific circumstances. The seeds can provoke a toxic effect. This pertains to certain Caribbean varieties. These plants contain the glucoside phaseolunatine and the enzyme linamarase. The toxic effect are less when cooked dry bean seeds are consumed instead of cooked green pods. Nitrogen-fixing root nodules render the species valuable for restoring soil fertility.

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Wikipedia

Phaseolus lunatus

Lima beans, cooked, no salt
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy482 kJ (115 kcal)
20.88 g
Sugars2.9 g
Dietary fiber7 g
0.38 g
7.8 g
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(14%)
0.161 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(5%)
0.055 mg
Niacin (B3)
(3%)
0.421 mg
(8%)
0.422 mg
Vitamin B6
(12%)
0.161 mg
Folate (B9)
(21%)
83 μg
Vitamin E
(1%)
0.18 mg
Vitamin K
(2%)
2 μg
Trace metals
Calcium
(2%)
17 mg
Iron
(18%)
2.39 mg
Magnesium
(12%)
43 mg
Manganese
(25%)
0.516 mg
Phosphorus
(16%)
111 mg
Potassium
(11%)
508 mg
Sodium
(0%)
2 mg
Zinc
(10%)
0.95 mg
Other constituents
Fluoride2.2 µg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Moche ceramic vessel with lima beans, Larco Museum Collection, Lima, Peru

Phaseolus lunatus is a legume grown for its edible seeds. It is commonly known as the butter bean or lima bean .

Origin and uses[edit]

P. lunatus is of Andean and Mesoamerican origin. Two separate domestication events are believed to have occurred. The first, taking place in the Andes around 2000 BC,[2] produced a large-seeded variety (lima type), while the second, taking place in Mesoamerica around 800 AD, produced a small-seeded variety (Sieva type).[2] By around 1300, cultivation had spread north of the Rio Grande, and in the 1500s, the plant began to be cultivated in the Old World.[2]

The small-seeded,(Sieva type) is found distributed from Mexico to Argentina, generally below 1,600 m (5,200 ft) above sea level, while the large-seeded wild form (lima type) is found distributed in the north of Peru, from 320 to 2,030 m (1,050 to 6,660 ft) above sea level.[citation needed]

The Moche Culture (0-800 CE) cultivated lima beans heavily and often depicted them in their art.[3] During the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, lima beans were exported to the rest of the Americas and Europe, and since the boxes of such goods had their place of origin labeled "Lima, Peru", the beans got named as such.

The term "butter bean" is widely used for a large, flat and yellow/white variety of lima bean (P. lunatus var. macrocarpus, or P. limensis[4]).

In some Southern United States areas, Sieva-type beans are traditionally called butter beans, also otherwise known as the Dixie or Henderson type. In that area, lima beans and butter beans are seen as two distinct types of beans.

In Spain, it is called garrofón, and constitutes one of the main ingredients of the famous Valencian paella.

In the United Kingdom and some areas in the American South, "butter beans" refers to either dried beans which can be purchased to rehydrate, or the canned variety which are ready to use. In culinary use there, lima beans and butter beans are distinct, the latter being large and yellow, the former small and green. In areas where both are considered to be lima beans, the green variety may be labelled as "baby" (and less commonly "junior") limas.

Cultivars[edit]

Both bush and pole (vine) cultivars exist, the latter range from 1 to 5 m in height. The bush cultivars mature earlier than the pole cultivars. The pods are up to 15 cm (5.9 in) long. The mature seeds are 1 to 3 cm (0.39 to 1.18 in) long and oval to kidney-shaped. In most cultivars the seeds are quite flat, but in the "potato" cultivars, the shape approaches spherical. White seeds are common, but black, red, orange, and variously mottled seeds are also known. The immature seeds are uniformly green. Lima beans typically yield 2,900 to 5,000 kg (6,400 to 11,000 lb) of seed and 3,000 to 8,000 kg (6,600 to 17,600 lb) of biomass per hectare.

The seeds of the cultivars listed below are white unless otherwise noted. Closely related or synonymous names are listed on the same line.

Bush types[edit]

  • 'Henderson' / 'Thorogreen', 65 days (heirloom)
  • 'Eastland', 68 days
  • 'Jackson Wonder', 68 days (heirloom, seeds brown mottled with purple)
  • 'Dixie Butterpea', 75 days (heirloom, two strains are common: red speckled and white seeded)
  • 'Fordhook 242', 75 days, 1945 AAS winner

Pole types[edit]

  • 'Christmas' / 'Giant Speckled' / 'Speckled Calico', 78 days (heirloom, seeds white mottled with red)
  • 'Big 6' / 'Big Mama', 80 days[5]
  • 'King of the Garden', 85 days (heirloom)

Nutritional value[edit]

Lima beans, like many other legumes, are a good source of dietary fiber, and a virtually fat-free source of high-quality protein.

Lima beans contain both soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol, and insoluble fiber, which aids in the prevention of constipation, digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.[citation needed]

Blood sugar[edit]

The high fiber content in lima beans prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after eating them due to the presence of large amounts of absorption-slowing compounds in the beans, and their high soluble fiber content. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the stomach, forming a gel that slows down the absorption of the bean's carbohydrates. They can therefore help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy, which makes them a good choice for people with diabetes suffering with insulin resistance.[citation needed]

Heart[edit]

Soluble fiber binds with the bile acids that form cholesterol and, because it is not absorbed by the intestines, it exits the body, taking the bile acids with it. As a result, the cholesterol level is lowered. They may, therefore, help to prevent heart disease, and may reduce the dose required to combat cholesterol in the form of natural food.

Lima beans also provide folate and magnesium. Folate lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in the metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

The magnesium content of lima beans is a calcium-channel blocker. When enough magnesium is present, veins and arteries relax, which reduces resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Plant List, Phaseolus lunatus
  2. ^ a b c Motta-Aldanaa, Jenny R.; Serrano-Serranoa, Martha L.; Hernández-Torresa, Jorge; Castillo-Villamizara, Genis; Debouckb, Daniel G.; ChacónS, Maria I. (2010). "Multiple Origins of Lima Bean Landraces in the Americas: Evidence from Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Polymorphisms". Crop Science (Crop Science Society of America) 50 (5): 1773–1787. doi:10.2135/cropsci2009.12.0706. 
  3. ^ Larco Hoyle, Rafael. Los Mochicas. Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. Lima 2001. ISBN 9972-9341-0-1
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary,45th Edition, various quotations
  5. ^ "Improving Heirloom varieties". Mother Earth News. Retrieved 01-07-2010.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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Phaseolus rosei

Phaseolus rosei is a species of legume in the Fabaceae family. It is found only in Ecuador. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

References[edit]


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Notes

Common Names

Surinam: lima-bonen. Surinam Sranan: sebijari.

  • May, A.F. 1982. Surinaams Kruidenboek (Sranan Oso Dresi). 80 pp. Paramaribo, Surinam: Vaco; and Zutphen, The Netherlands: De Walburg Pers.

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Comments

Lima bean is cultivated as a vegetable.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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