Lima Bean 'Dixie Speckled Butterpea'

Phaseolus lunatus

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





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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Augusta, Georgia(2 reports)

Heflin, Louisiana

Jayess, Mississippi

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Depauville, New York

Albany, Oregon

Batesburg, South Carolina

Jonesville, South Carolina

Spicewood, Texas

Radford, Virginia(2 reports)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 28, 2020, 1Steam_Plow from Depauville, NY wrote:

This is the second year of growing the Dixie Speckled Butterpea. I am located in Northern Jefferson County, NY. Last year the weather was very wet and cool and I didn't plant until the end of June. The yield was about a pound of shelled beans. Used about half for cooking to see what they tasted like. A bit bland by themselves, but really soaked up other flavors to make tasty dishes.

This year I planted about the first of June four sixteen foot rows. Current yield will be about three to five pounds. It's now September 28 and we had four mornings of light frost last week, but covered the beans and they are still have many pods ripening and also more flowers. Pleased with the success this year in spite of the very dry conditions and high temperatures we had.
... read more


On Aug 22, 2020, Dayhut from Batesburg, SC wrote:

Mine are still going strong, In AUGUST, putting on new growth and looking as good as ever!
Theyíre bush plants that grow about 24Ē tall, and they soldiered on right through the hot weather of a South Carolina summer.
Each pod delivered the usual 3-4 beans; they were ready in the proscribed 2 1/2 months.
Youíre supposed to sow them into rich, fast draining soil in spring after the soil has warmed. I didnít fuss over that. Just stick em in 1 inch deep and 2-4 inches apart. Since Iím a Square Foot Gardner, they go into spaced blocks and not rows.
Soaking 1-2 hours prior to planting will speed germination.
Itís recommended to thin them when seedlings emerge so that bush varieties are 5 to 6 inches apart; pole varieties 6 to 8 inches apart.
I never di... read more


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.


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.


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


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.