Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lima Bean
Phaseolus lunatus 'Dixie Speckled Butterpea'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: lunatus (loo-NAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Dixie Speckled Butterpea
Additional cultivar information: (aka Dixie Red Speckled Butterpea, Dixie Butterpea Speckled)

» View all varieties of Beans

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Days to Maturity:
61 to 70 days

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #1 of Phaseolus lunatus by Wingnut

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #2 of Phaseolus lunatus by Farmerdill

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #3 of Phaseolus lunatus by Farmerdill


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive glfbama On Feb 27, 2013, glfbama from Albany, OR wrote:

The best butterbean of all -- it has to be for me to try to grow it in the PNW! When summers are not long and hot enough I get almost nothing. With a long hot summer, though, the yields are great.

Butterpeas are plumper than regular limas, and very succulent. (This is true only for the green butterpea. The speckled one is not as plump, and is sort of tough and chewy.)

Regarding another comment, I've had no problems shelling the beans, as long as they are mature. Like most other shelling beans, if they're not mature, shelling can be a bit tedious. Although they are "bush" beans, the vines get 3 - 4 feet tall, and need some support to keep them off the ground.

If you like baby green limas, you'll love butterpeas.

Positive lssfishhunter On Jan 29, 2009, lssfishhunter from Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

The production is good and the taste is great. I plant these every year and the seed is easy to find in feed stores. However, I save my own seeds now.

Positive Farmerdill On Oct 27, 2003, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very prolific and hardy, it will produce where most others fail. It is tedius to pick and shell, but in my opionion is the best flavored of all the colored butterbeans

Neutral Wingnut On Aug 29, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attractive bush plant. High yield, but kind of a pain to shell as the beans are small, there are only 4 to 6 in each pod and the "strings" break easily. But they do take heat and drought very well.

Edited June of 2004 to add: I have found these to reliably reseed themselves for five years running now in my zone 8 garden.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Augusta, Georgia (2 reports)
Heflin, Louisiana
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Albany, Oregon
Jonesville, South Carolina
Spicewood, Texas
Radford, Virginia (2 reports)

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