According to Flora of West Tropical Africa[FWTA]
Papilionaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958
- A rank-growing twiner, biennial, with half-woody stems
- Rather small greenish-white or bluish flowers.
- The Lima bean.
According to Flora Zambesiaca[FZ]
Leguminosae, B. Mackinder, R. Pasquet, R. Polhill and B. Verdcourt. Flora Zambesiaca 3:5. 2001
- Perennial or biennial climber, sometimes subshrubby, 1–4.5 m long.
- Stems glabrous or pubescent.
- Leaflets 3, 3–15 × 1.2–10 cm, the laterals oblique, ovate to lanceolate or narrowly rhombic, acute or acuminate, ± rounded at the base, sparsely pubescent or glabrous; petiole 1.5–19 cm long; rhachis 0.7–5 cm long; petiolules 3–5 mm long; stipules 2–3.5 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, persistent.
- Inflorescences lax, few–several-flowered; rhachis 1–7 cm long; peduncle 1.5–30 cm long; pedicels 5–10 mm long; bracts persistent, 1.5 mm long, lanceolate; bracteoles persistent, 1.5–2 × 0.5–1 mm, elliptic or ovate, (1)3–7-nerved.
- Calyx puberulous; tube 1.5–2.5 mm long; lobes 5–8 mm long, broadly triangular, the upper pair joined to form an emarginate lip.
- Standard white, yellowish-buff or pale rose, 5–7 × 5–8.5 mm, rounded or oblate-oblong, emarginate, sparsely pubescent or glabrous outside; keel 1–1.4 cm long, spirally incurved for 11/2 turns.
- Pods (4.5)5–10.5(13) × 1.2–2.2(2.5) cm, oblong-falcate or oblong-oblanceolate, 3–4-seeded, compressed, apiculate at the apex, glabrous or pubescent.
- Seeds very variable in colour, mostly white or purple, 10–15 × 8–12 × 5–5.5 mm, reniform or rhomboid-reniform, compressed; hilum whitish, 2.5–4 mm long
According to Flora of Tropical East Africa[FTEA]
Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971
- Perennial or biennial climber or sometimes subshrubby, 1–4·5 m. long.
- Stems glabrous or pubescent.
- Leaflets 3, the laterals oblique, ovate to lanceolate or narrowly rhombic, 3–15 cm. long, 1·2–10 cm. wide, acute or acuminate, ± rounded at the base, sparsely pubescent or glabrous; petiole 1·5–19 cm. long; rhachis 0·7–5 cm. long; petiolules 3–5 mm. long; stipules ovate-lanceolate, persistent, 2–3·5 mm. long.
- Inflorescences lax, few–several-flowered; rhachis 1–7 cm. long; peduncle 1·5–30 cm. long; pedicels 5–10 mm. long; bracts persistent, lanceolate, 1·5 mm. long; bracteoles persistent, elliptic or ovate, 1·5–2 mm. long, 0·5–1 mm. wide, (1–)3–7-nerved.
- Calyx puberulous; tube 1·5–2·5 mm. long; lobes broadly triangular, 5–8 mm. long, the upper pair joined to form an emarginate lip.
- Standard white, yellowish-buff or pale rose, rounded or oblate-oblong, 5–7 mm. long, 5–8·5 mm. wide, emarginate, sparsely pubescent or glabrous outside; keel 1–1·4 cm. long, spirally incurved for 11/2 turns.
- Pods oblong-falcate or oblong-oblanceolate, 3–4-seeded, (4·5–)5–10·5(–13) cm. long, 1·2–2·2(–2·5) cm. wide, compressed, apiculate at the apex, glabrous or pubescent.
- Seeds very variable in colour, mostly white or purple, reniform or rhomboid-reniform, compressed, longest dimension 1–1·5 cm., shorter dimension 0·8–1·2 cm., 5–5·5 mm. thick; hilum whitish, 2·5–4 mm. long.
- Fig. 95, p. 616.
According to Kew Species Profiles[KSP]
Kew Species Profiles
- General Description
Phaseolus lunatus is known for its edibles seeds which are enjoyed by millions of people throughout the world. Also known as butter bean on account of its creamy taste, lima bean adds flavour, protein and important minerals such as manganese and iron, to a wide variety of dishes. It is also highly valued for its medicinal properties.
- Species Profile
Geography and distribution
Lima bean originated in the Neotropics and has two main centres of domestication. The small-seeded varieties were developed in Central America and the large-seeded types were cultivated in South America (mainly in Peru) as far back as 6,000 BC.
Following Columbus’ 'discovery' of America, humans spread lima bean throughout the continent and it was subsequently introduced into Europe and Asia. Portuguese 'explorers' brought butter beans to Africa during the slave trade. Today lima bean is cultivated throughout the tropics.Description
Overview: Phaseolus lunatus can either be an annual (completing its life-cycle in one year) or a perennial (living for several years) herb. Some forms of the species are erect with trailing branches while others are climbing vines up to four and half metres long ( occasionally up to 8 metres).
Roots: The roots can extend 2 metres into the soil and are either thin or swollen.
Leaves: The leaves are arranged alternately along the main stems and each leaf is composed of three leaflets, with the terminal leaflet held away from the two opposite lateral leaflets (the whole leaf being referred to as pinnately trifoliolate). The petiole (leaf stalk) can be from 1.5 to 19 cm long.
Flowers: The stalked flowers are clustered on small fleshy nodes along an unbranched axis (this a pseudoracemose inflorescence); the inflorescences are axillary (arising in the axilof the stem and the leaf petiole). The inflorescences are sometimes panicles, in which the main axis has several lateral branches. The flowers are white, pale green or rose-violet and papilionaceous (pea-flowered). Each flower has 10 stamens (male reproductive organs) 9 of which are fused into a partial tube or sheath and 1 free. The ovary (female reproductive organ) is about 3 mm long, and has a covering of minute hairs. The style has a terminal coil with a collar of hairs below the stigma (the female receptive organ where pollen is deposited by a visiting pollinator).
Fruit : The fruit is an oblong pod, 5-13 cm long and bears up to 5 seeds. The seeds are kidney-shaped to subglobose (almost spherical), up to 11 mm long, white, green, yellow, brown, red, purple, black or variously speckled.Uses Food
In Africa, lima bean is grown mainly for its immature and dry seeds which are eaten boiled, fried or baked. In Nigeria, the seeds are commonly used in soups and stews, cooked together with maize, rice or yams. Some indigenous peoples, such as the Yoruba, process the seeds into porridge, puddings and cakes. The green, immature seeds, pods and leaves are eaten as a vegetable in Ghana and Malawi. Lima beans are cultivated on an industrial scale in the United States for canning and freezing. In many Asian countries the shoots and young plants are cooked and eaten. The leaves and stems of butter bean may be turned into hay or silage.Medicinal
The plant has many medicinal uses. In Senegal and the Democratic republic of Congo the juice from the leaves is used in nasal instillations against headache and as eardrops. In Nigeria the seeds are pulverised and rubbed into small cuts or onto tumours and abscesses to encourage the discharge of pus. The seeds and leaves of butter bean are valued in traditional Asian medicine for their astringent properties and they are used as a diet to relieve fever.Other uses
The seeds of lima bean are sometimes used to feed livestock, but there is a risk of hydrogen cyanide poisoning if used raw. The ability of lima bean to fix nitrogen from the air by way of bacteria housed in root nodules makes it a good soil fertiliser. For this reason it is often grown as a cover crop and for green manure.Crop wild relatives of lima bean
The Millennium Seed Bank and the Global Crop Diversity Trust are engaged in a ten-year project, called 'Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change'. The project aims to protect, collect and prepare the wild relatives of 29 key food crops, including lima bean, so that they are available to pre-breeders for the development of new varieties that are more resilient to the effects of climate change.Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage
The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plants worldwide, focusing on those plants which are under threat and those which are of most use in the future. Once seeds have been collected they are dried, packaged and stored at -20°C in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank vault.
Description of seeds: Average weight of 1,000 seeds = 571.0 g
Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: One
Seed storage behaviour: Orthodox (the seeds of this plant can be dried to a low moisture content without significantly reducing their viability. This means they are suitable for long-term frozen storage)
Germination testing: SuccessfulThis species at Kew
Pressed and dried specimens of Phaseolus lunatus are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers by appointment. Details and images of some of these specimens can be seen online in Kew's Herbarium Catalogue.
- Lima bean can be grown in a wide range of ecological conditions but is particularly suited to low-altitude humid and sub-humid climates,as well as warm temperate zones and arid and semi-arid tropical regions.
- Widespread in cultivation.
Lima beans contain high levels of a cyanide compound and should not be eaten raw. The toxic cyanide compound is deactivated upon cooking.
Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexican Pacific Is., Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, Panamá
Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Repu, China North-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Kazan-retto, Kenya, Kermadec Is., Leeward Is., Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Ogasawara-shoto, Pakistan, Peru, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Rodrigues, Rwanda, Réunion, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Windward Is., Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe
- Lima bean
Phaseolus lunatus L. appears in other Kew resources:
Herbarium Catalogue (32 records)
|Date Identified||Reference||Herbarium Specimen||Type Status|
|May 1, 2012||I Made Maduarta (Pung) [IMM 170], Lesser Sunda Is.||K000733729|
|Jan 1, 2007||Rovirosa, J.N. , Oaxaca||K000478457|
|Langlassé, E. , Mexico||K001041084|
|González Ortega, J. , Mexico||K001041085|
|Gaumer, G. , Mexico||K001041093|
|Sinclair [s.n.], Mexico||K001041096|
|Seeman [s.n.], Panama||K001041097|
|Coulter [s.n.], Mexico||K001041098|
|Hayes , Panama||K001041099|
|Burchell , Brazil||K000931234|
|Legname, P.R. [7021C], Argentina||K000931235|
|s.coll. , Brazil||K000931236|
|Usteri [54=211], Brazil||K000931237|
|Smith, H.H. , Colombia||K000502930|
|Smith, H.H. , Colombia||K000502931|
|Fendler, A. , Venezuela||K000502932|
|s.coll. , Venezuela||K000502933|
|Spruce, R. [s.n.], Para||K000502934|
|McFadyen [s.n.], Jamaica||K000502935|
|McFadyen [s.n.], Jamaica||K000502936|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118657|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118658|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118659|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118660|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118661|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118662|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118663|
|Hinton, G.B. , Mexico||K000118664|
|Langlassé, E. , Mexico||K001041078|
|Gaumer, G. , Mexico||K001041079|
|Gaumer, G. , Mexico||K001041080|
|Gaumer, G. , Mexico||K001041081|
First published in Sp. Pl.: 724 (1753)
-  Forzza, R.C., Zappi, D. & Souza, V.C. (2016-) Flora do Brasil 2020 em construção . http://reflora.jbrj.gov.br/reflora/listaBrasil/ConsultaPublicaUC/ResultadoDaConsultaNovaConsulta.do
-  (2016) Phytotaxa 250: 1-431
-  (2016) Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87: 559-902
-  (2015) Botanical Sciences 93: 365-417
-  Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015) The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan . Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  (2014) Australian Plant Census (APC) . Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria. http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/index.html
-  (2014) Phytotaxa 171: 1-78
-  Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013) Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh , Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh
-  (2012) Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192
-  Garcia-Mendoza, A.J. & Meave, J.A. (eds.) (2012) Diversidad florística de Oaxaca: de musgos a angiospermas (colecciones y listas de especies) , ed. 2: 1-351. Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
-  (2010) Folia Geobotanica 45: 1-57
-  (2010) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 119: 1-970. Missouri Botanical Garden
-  (2010) Taxonomania 30: 1-307
-  Flora of China Editorial Committee (2010) Flora of China 10: 1-642. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis)
-  (2008) Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria
-  Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008) Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela . Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela
-  Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008) Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas . SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
-  Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006) Flore Analytique du Bénin . Backhuys Publishers
-  Catarino, L., Sampaio Martins, E., Pinto-Basto, M.F. & Diniz, M.A. (2006) Plantas Vasculares e Briófitos da Guiné-Bissau . Instituto de investigação científica tropical, Instituto Português de apoio ao desenvolvimento
-  Lock, J.M. & Ford, C.S. (2004) Legumes of Malesia a Check-List . Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  Kumar, S. & Sane, P.V. (2003) Legumes of South Asia. A Checklist . Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  Du Puy, D.J., Labat, N.-N., Rabevohitra, R., Villiers, J.-F., Bosser, J. & Moat, J. (2002) The Leguminosae of Madagascar . Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  (2001) Flora Zambesiaca 3(5): 1-261. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  (2001) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 85: i-xlii, 1-2666. Missouri Botanical Garden
-  Balick, M.J., Nee, M.H. & Atha, D.E. (2000) Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Belize with Common Names an Uses . New Yourk Botanic Garden Press, New York
-  Jørgensen, P.M. & León-Yánes, S. (eds.) (1999) Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador . Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis
-  Boggan, J. Funck, V. & Kelloff, C. (1997) Checklist of the Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, Franch Guiana) ed. 2: 1-238. University of Guyana, Georgetown
-  Gonzalez, F., Nelson Diaz, J. & Lowry, P. (1995) Flora Illustrada de San Andrés y Providencia . Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Colombia
-  Lock, J.M. & Heald, J. (1994) Legumes of Indo-China a checck-list . Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  MacKee, H.S. (1994) Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie , ed. 2: 1-164. Museum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris
-  (1993) Flora of Australia 50: 1-606. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra
-  (1993) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 45: i-xl, 1-1286. Missouri Botanical Garden
-  (1993) Sommerfeltia 17: 1-295
-  (1990) Flore des Mascareignes 80: 1-235. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris
-  Levin, G.A. & Moran, R. (1989) The vascular flora of isla Socorro, Mexico . Dept. of Botany, San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego
-  Lock, J.M. (1989) Legumes of Africa a check-list . Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
-  (1988) Flora of New Zealand 4: 1-1365. Botany division, D.S.I.R., Christchurch
-  (1987) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 17: 1-328. Missouri Botanical Garden
-  (1987) Ogasawara Research 13: 1-55
-  Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986) Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali . Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux
-  Smith, A.C. (1985) Flora Vitiensis Nova. A new flora for Fiji (Spermatophytes only) 3: 1-758. Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai
-  Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984) Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn
-  Boulvert, Y. (1977) Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 2(1): 1-85. ORSTROM, Bangui
-  Berhaut, J. (1976) Flore illustrée du Sénégal 5: 1-658. Gouvernement du Sénégal, Ministère du développement rural direction des eaux et forêta, Dakar
-  Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976) Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger . Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort
-  (1946) Fieldiana Botany New Series 24(5): 1-502. Field Museum of Natural History
-  (2012) Indian Journal of Forestry 35: 79-84
-  Beentje, H. (2010). The Kew Plant Glossary: an Illustrated Dictionary of Plant Terms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
-  (2008) Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 32: 403-500
-  (2008) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden
-  Mabberley, D.J. (2008). Mabberley’s Plant-book: a Portable Dictionary of Plants, their Classification and Uses. Third edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
-  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2008). Seed Information Database (SID). Version 7.1.
-  Brink, M. & Belay, G. (2006). Cereals and Pulses: Volume 1 of Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. PROTA.
-  Duke, J. A. (1981). Handbook of Legumes of World Economic Importance. New York: Plenum Press.
-  Purseglove, Tropical Crops 1: 296, fig. 45 (1968).
-  Mansf., Prod. Enum. Sp. PI. Agri- et Hort.: 209 (1959).
-  Hepper in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 565 (1958).
-  Hauman in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 6: 336 (1954).
-  Burkart, Leg. Argentinas, ed. 2: 434 (1952).
-  R. O. Williams, Useful and Ornamental Plants in Zanzibar and Pemba p. 408 (1949).
-  Robyns, Flore des Spermatophytes du Parc National Albert 1: 356 (1948).
-  S.Calderon & P.C.Standley (1944) Lista Preliminar de las plantas de El Salvador , ed. 2: 1-450. Ediciones culturales de la universidad de El Salvador
-  Sampson, Cult. Crop. Pl. Brit. Emp., Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew Addit. Ser. 12: 216 (1936).
-  Bak. f. Leg. Trop. Afr. 2: 388.
-  Bak. f., Leguminosae of Tropical Africa: 388 (1929).
-  Bois, Pl. Alim.: 149 (1927).
-  Chev. Bot. 197
-  Bak. in Flora of Tropical Africa 2: 193 (1871).
-  —F.T.A. 2: 192
-  L., Sp. Pl.: 724 (1753).
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2017). Published on the internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp
[D] See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
[E] © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
Legumes of the World Online
[H] Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/