Lima bean

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Lima bean
Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus)

Lima beans ( Phaseolus lunatus )

Order : Fabales (Fabales)
Family : Legumes (Fabaceae)
Subfamily : Butterflies (Faboideae)
Tribe : Phaseoleae
Genre : Phaseolus
Type : Lima bean
Scientific name
Phaseolus lunatus

The lima bean ( Phaseolus lunatus ), also moon bean called, is a plant of the genus Phaseolus in the subfamily of Schmetterlingsblütler (Faboideae). This crop is closely related to a number of other crops called " beans ". There is a large and a small-seeded subspecies, which are sometimes differentiated as Lima bean (large) and moon bean (small).

The Lima bean is native to the Andes and Central America . It is believed that cultivation began independently in the two places, in the Andes around 2000 BC. BC, where a large-seeded variety emerged (Lima type), and around 800 in Central America, where a small-seeded variety (Sieva type) emerged. By 1300 the cultivation had spread to the north of the Rio Grande .

It needs sufficient heat and can therefore only be cultivated economically to a limited extent in Central Europe.


The Lima bean is an annual, bushy or trailing herbaceous plant with a stem that can reach lengths of 2 to 4 meters. The petals are usually light green, sometimes purple.

Lima bean seeds

The usually curved legumes are 5 to 15 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters wide and contain two to four seeds. The seeds, which are very variable in shape, size and color, are 1 to 3 centimeters long, oval to round, and white or dark in color.

Dark colored seeds contain linamarine , a cyanogenic glycoside from which hydrogen cyanide can develop. White-peeled seeds are considered harmless.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 22.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Jenny R. Motta-Aldana, Martha L. Serrano-Serrano, Jorge Hernández-Torres, Genis Castillo-Villamizar, Daniel G. Debouck, Maria I. ChacónS .: Multiple Origins of Lima Bean Landraces in the Americas: Evidence from Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Polymorphisms . In: Crop Science . tape 50 , no. 5 , 2010, p. 1773-1787 , doi : 10.2135 / cropsci2009.12.0706 .
  2. ^ Phaseolus lunatus at In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

Web links

Commons : Lima Bean ( Phaseolus lunatus )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files