Dixie Speckled Butter Bean

Other names: Dixie Speckled Lima Bean

Source: California, Southern US

General Information: The Speckled Dixie Butter Pea Baby Lima is an excellent Southern variety of baby lima bean that is superior to its white seeded counterpart in hot weather.

This wonderful baby lima produces bushy, vigorous plants that reach about two feet in height that gives a tremendous yield of slightly curved, four inch long pods. Each pod contains three or four nearly rounded, small reddish-brown beans that are mottled with a darker brown color. Wonderful used fresh or dried.

History: Lima Beans originate from Central and South America where they were domesticated at least 8500 years ago. They grow as vines that grow over surrounding vegetation in the wet season and then die back in the dry season. They have perennial roots so the plant is able to grow back the following season. Domestication of P. lunatus appears to have taken place twice. The earlier domestication occurred in northwestern South America and produced the large Lima Bean varieties. The earliest evidence for this domestication comes from a Peruvian archaeological site (Guitarrero Cave) where Lima Bean seeds were found from levels dating to 6500 BC, 1000 years earlier than P. vulgaris beans found at the same site and earlier than maize domestication. Sieva Bean, Butter Bean and Baby Lima Bean varieties originate from the second domestication which occurred in Central America, probably in Guatemala although the earliest archaeological evidence is from Mexico dating to at the latest 800 AD. For both domestications, the earliest archaeological evidence comes from sites that are beyond the present day range of wild P. lunatus suggesting that domestication did not begin in the regions where these archaeological sites are situated.

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