Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lima Bean
Phaseolus lunatus 'Christmas Lima'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: lunatus (loo-NAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Christmas Lima
Additional cultivar information: (aka Giant Speckled Pole, Giant Florida Pole)

» View all varieties of Beans

One vendor has this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Days to Maturity:
71 to 80 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

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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Tiferet On Nov 8, 2011, Tiferet from New Castle, CO wrote:

We planted this lima in our first "Three Sisters Garden" on Colorado's Western Slope - just about drought conditions at about 6000 ft. The other beans we planted at the same time around the other stands of corn - Hope Black Beans - were overwhelmed by the winter squash plants, but the Christmas Limas climbed up the corn stalks and produced like crazy. Huge pods with 2 to 4 quarter-sized beans. Can't say what they taste like, because we saved all of them to plant in the next garden.

Neutral lssfishhunter On May 1, 2009, lssfishhunter from Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Production is pretty good with this variety. I, however, prefer the taste of other beans that I grow even though I don't turn them down when they are served. My family seems to enjoy them more that I do.

Positive berrygirl On Mar 1, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is my favorite "butterbean", and the only kind of large lima-type bean my grandparents would grow- or eat. I never ate a white or green lima until I was almost an adult! Dates back to the 1840's and is very productive even in intense heat.

Positive greenbrain On Feb 25, 2007, greenbrain from Madison, IL (Zone 6b) wrote:

One of the few varieties that I have been saving seeds to replant for several years now. Never had a bad year--always productive & pest/disease free. I grow teepee style & usually get 2 huge crops before the first killing frost. The bean seeds get huge & are a very colorful speckled maroon & cream color. My husband's favorite vegie.

Positive melody On Apr 17, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very productive and wonderful tasting. These limas do best for me as a dry bean. I like to use them in soups and stews. They have a rich nutty flavor and a nice firm texture.

Positive Big_Red On Jan 2, 2004, Big_Red from Bethelridge, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Need to have good luck to grow in NH, needs 90 frost free days.

Positive Farmerdill On Oct 29, 2003, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is an ancient colored climbing lima. It is white with red splotches. When I was a kid, it was called in piedmont Virginia , the Calico lima, but now is widely available as the Christmas lima. It yields well with three beans, the size of a U.S. quarter, to the pod. Pods are large and easy to pick. Size decreases as the season progresses but will bear to frost. Taste is mild for a colored lima, and characteristic of the large flat limas.


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

Deer, Arkansas
West Fork, Arkansas
Los Angeles, California
Rifle, Colorado
Lake City, Florida
Augusta, Georgia (2 reports)
Braselton, Georgia
Alma, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Madison, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Lucedale, Mississippi
Salisbury, New Hampshire
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Jonesville, South Carolina
Ten Mile, Tennessee
West Jordan, Utah
Radford, Virginia (2 reports)
Troy, Virginia (2 reports)
Cecil, Wisconsin

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