Phaseolus lunatus L.
|Family||Leguminosae - Papilionoideae|
Phaseolus lunatus L. (1753)
- Synonym: Phaseolus limensis Macf. (1837)
- Wild type: var. silvester Baudet (1977)
- Cultivated types are put in three groups:
- Sieva Group
synonym: Phaseolus lunatus sensu stricto
Thin pod with 3-4 small seeds, more or less convex. Here belong 'baby lima' in the United States, as well as 'butter bean' in southern United States.
- Potato Group
synonym: Phaseolus bipunctatus Jacq. (1770)
Thick pod with some spherical seeds, often with a high content in linamarine.
- Big Lima Group
synonym: Phaseolus inamoenus L. (1753)
Thick pod with 4-8 big flat seeds. The 'butter bean' of the United States is usually of this type (except in the South).
- Sieva Group
Characters used to describe cultivars and genetic resources are organised in a descriptor list published by Bioversity:
An important pulse in the United-States, this bean has mostly spread in tropical regions. Almost unknown in Europe.
The wild Lima bean is known from Mexico to Argentina and the West Indies. Archeological remnants of cultivated types are found as well in Peru, dating back 6800-6200 BC. (big seeds), as in Mexico. Domestication seems to have occurred in several places.
Read about the origin of Lima bean by Alphonse de Candolle, Origine des plantes cultivées. 1882.
Phaseolus peregrinus (Dodoens, Pemptades, 1583)