Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lima Bean
Phaseolus lunatus 'Fordhook 242'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: lunatus (loo-NAY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Fordhook 242

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2 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 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

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to view:

By mtilton
Thumbnail #1 of Phaseolus lunatus by mtilton

By Melissa_Ohio
Thumbnail #2 of Phaseolus lunatus by Melissa_Ohio


2 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative bobjoy On Oct 14, 2011, bobjoy from Compton, MD wrote:

Our experience is usually fairly good with this lima , but this year we had enormous plants , plenty of blossoms ,but the small beans just fell off or never developed. If anyone has a clue why this may have happened we would appreciate your input. Thanks

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

This is the lima of choice in West KY. Effortless to grow and very productive. They have been grown for several decades in this area and are always requested at the seed dtore.

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

Fordhook 242 is the more popular strain of the Fordhook potato lima. It is more picky about soil and climate than baby limas, but given the right conditions is a prolific bearer. This is the one found in the frozen food section of the grocery store. It is much more starchy than flat limas, but the taste is prefered by many. In the limestone soil (pH 6.8) of the New River Valley it grew and produced effortlessly. However, in central virginia and here in Georgia, extra care must be given to liming the plot and maintaining a neutral pH.


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

Augusta, Georgia (2 reports)
Benton, Kentucky
Compton, Maryland
Coal Center, Pennsylvania
Radford, Virginia (2 reports)
Troy, Virginia (2 reports)

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