Lima Bean 'Christmas Lima'

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: Christmas Lima
Additional cultivar information:(aka Giant Speckled Pole, Giant Florida Pole)
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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

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:

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

Columbia, Maryland

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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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 29, 2016, denticles from Columbia (border zone 7a 6b - Piedmont Uplands 64c ecoregion), MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

In Hungary this variety is called Zalán. Could you add that to its alternate cultivar names and/or common names please?

It grew in a bad, shady place for me in Maryland, essentially planted in grass with barely any garden soil and mostly shade near a forested area and by a fence, and still produced some crops.


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.


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.


On Mar 1, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.