Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lima Bean
Phaseolus lunatus 'Dr. Martin'

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Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: lunatus (loo-NAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Dr. Martin

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4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Annuals
Vegetables

Height:
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:
Climbing

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Days to Maturity:
91 to 100 days

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
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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By rjseeney
Thumbnail #1 of Phaseolus lunatus by rjseeney

By rjseeney
Thumbnail #2 of Phaseolus lunatus by rjseeney

By scarey
Thumbnail #3 of Phaseolus lunatus by scarey

Profile:

3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral seedvendor2011 On Feb 22, 2012, seedvendor2011 from Marshall, AR wrote:

Hi, I'm a interested gardener about this particular type of lima, and if anyone has some and would be willing to share, I'd really appreciate it. I sell garden seeds, I'm with Ozark Mountain Seeds and would like to start growing and selling this bean. :) You can visit my website at ozarkmountainseeds.com or contact my e-mail at ozmtnseeds@yahoo.com

Positive DeGeorge On Sep 12, 2004, DeGeorge from Chesapeake, VA wrote:

I have been growing this bean for over 30 years.

Dr. Martin Lima was actually developed by a physician many years ago. Where and why is obscure, but I found the seeds somehow and ordered them from a couple in New Jersey who had been working with them for years. Then one of them became ill and their operation stopped.

I live near the coast in Virginia and as a result it is very hard to save seeds of any kind due to the humidity, which results in a lot of fungual growth. However, with the use of near constant fungicides seeds can be saved. It is better (here) to gather the seed just as the pods come to full maturity, shell them and put them down in a fungicidal powder until they dry.

Never plant different limas close to each other because although they are self-fruitful, bumble bees will, and do, cross pollinate them.

This year I planted previously grown and potted plants about 18 inches apart and found even this to be too thick. The vines run like crazy, even going across the ground. They can easily reach a length of 12-14 feet. The problem is that on a trellis low enough for one to harvest them they mat at the top and this adds to the fungus problem.

Dr. Martin Limas won't set fruit when the temperatures get much over 90 degrees, tending to wait until late summer to produce. As has been said, the pods are huge, but never bear more than 3 beans per pod. One should wait until the pod has a slight leathery feel before harvesting, lest they be hard to shell and the fruit immature.

They are delicious and everyone I have offered them to says the same.

Positive rjseeney On Mar 1, 2004, rjseeney from Ft Mitchell, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown this type of bean for 2 years now. They produce large, tender beans. Some of the beans are up to 1 1/2 inches across. They are a lot larger than the commonly found King of the Garden bean. The pods are huge and easy to shell. I have only been able to find one supplier of the seed, Rohrer Seeds, near Lancaster, PA. The seeds are fairly expensive, about 30 cents apiece. My father has had success with this bean, in Dover, De. From what I can determine, this bean is not real tolerant of excessive heat. The seeds also rot very easily in wet conditions. With proper care and planning, this bean is worth the extra effort.

Positive ppbrownlee On Jan 4, 2004, ppbrownlee from Middletown, VA wrote:

This produces large, tender beans, in pods that are easy to shell (unlike most limas)! The vines grew to ~12 ft. on a strong trellis. I spaced the seeds about 6" apart. The bloom color is pale yellow. I was given a few poor quality seeds by a friend for 2003. I had a great crop and now have saved seed from 2003, shared half with a friend, and would be willing to give a few seeds to a gardener who would like to try them.

Regional...

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

Crescent Springs, Kentucky
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
West Goshen, Pennsylvania
Middletown, Virginia
South Boston, Virginia
Bolivar, West Virginia



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