Immature seed - cooked and used like peas in soups, stews etc. The mature seed is dried and stored for future use. It must be thoroughly cooked before being eaten. It is best soaked for about 12 hours prior to cooking and is eaten in soups, stews or fermented and made into tempeh. The sprouted seeds are cooked and used in Chinese dishes. The dried seed can be ground into a powder then used as a thickener in soups or can be mixed with cereal flours when making bread. Young seedpods - steamed and used as a side dish with rice, or added to soups, stews etc. Leaves - cooked. They often have a bitter taste.
Material usesThere are no material uses listed for Phaseolus lunatus.
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in mid spring in a greenhouse. Germination should take place within 10 days. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Phaseolus lunatus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Plants are prone to drop their flowers when grown in nitrogen-rich soils. The Lima bean is commonly cultivated for its edible seed and seedpods in tropical and warm temperate areas of the world, there are many named varieties. The plants are very frost tender and are even less tolerant of wet and cold than the runner bean, Phaseolus coccineus. There are bush and climbing forms, the climbers are more productive but bush forms come into bearing more quickly and are probably more suitable for cooler gardens. Plants mature in 12 - 16 weeks from seed in warm climates but the growing season in Britain is usually too short for the beans to mature fully and crop yields are seldom worthwhile. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Phaseolus lunatus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Phaseolus lunatus.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
- Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
- Lois Tilton [Beans! Beans! The Poisonous Fruit!] Daves Garden ()
- Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
- Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (32202/01/01)
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