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Taxon: Phaseolus lunatus L.

Genus: Phaseolus
Section: Paniculati
Family: Fabaceae (alt.Leguminosae)
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Phaseoleae
Subtribe: Phaseolinae
Nomen number: 27591
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:724. 1753
Link to protologue: https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/358745
Typification: View in Linnean Typification Project
Name Verified on: 16-Aug-2010 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 2673 (2279 active, 779 available) in National Plant Germplasm System (Map)

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Human food: pulse; vegetable
  • Medicines:
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals

Distributional Range:


    Northern America
    • NORTHERN MEXICO: Mexico [Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Baja California Sur]
    • SOUTHERN MEXICO: Mexico [Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, México, Michoacán de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, Yucatán]

    Southern America
    • CENTRAL AMERICA: Belize, [Cayo, Corozal, Stann Creek, Toledo] Costa Rica, [Guanacaste, Heredia] El Salvador, [Ahuachapán, La Libertad, San Miguel, San Salvador, San Vicente, Sonsonate] Guatemala, [Alta Verapaz, Chiquimula, Escuintla, Guatemala, Jalapa, Petén, Retalhuleu, Santa Rosa, Zacapa, Chimaltenango, El Progreso, Izabal, Quetzaltenango, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Sololá, Suchitepéquez] Honduras, [Cortés, Atlántida, Colón, Comayagua, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán] Nicaragua, [Managua, Chinandega, Estelí, Granada, Jinotega, Zelaya] Panama [Chiriquí, Herrera, Panamá]
    • BRAZIL: Brazil [Pará]
    • WESTERN SOUTH AMERICA: Bolivia, [Cochabamba] Colombia, [Magdalena] Ecuador, [Azuay, Loja] Peru [Cusco (Quillabamba)]
    • SOUTHERN SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, [Chaco, Salta] Paraguay

    Cultivated (widely cult.)

    Naturalized (widely natzd.)


  1. Adams, C. 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica
  2. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson. 2012. Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) URL: www.skud.info
  3. Andueza-Noh, R. H. et al. 2013. Multiple domestications of the Mesoamerican gene pool of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.): evidence from chloroplast DNA sequences. Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 60:1069-1086.
  4. Aubréville, A. et al., eds. 1960-. Flore du Cambodge du Laos et du Viet-Nam.
  5. Beyra, A. & G. Reyes Artiles. 2004. Revisión taxonómica de los géneros Phaseolus y Vigna (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) en Cuba. Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 61:138-139.
  6. Boggan, J. et al. 1997. Checklist of the plants of the Guianas, ed. 2
  7. Budanova, V. I. & N. R. Ivanov. 1973. K sistematike roda Phaseolus L. (To the sistematics of the genus Phaseolus L.). Trudy Prikl. Bot. 51:29.
  8. Caicedo, A. L. et al. 1999. AFLP fingerprinting of Phaseolus lunatus L. and related wild species from South America. Crop Sci. (Madison) 39:1497-1507.
  9. Chacón-Sánchez, M. I. & J. Martínez-Castillo. 2017. Testing domestication scenarios of Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) in Mesoamerica: Insights from genome-wide genetic markers. Front. Plant Sci. 8:1551. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01551
  10. Debouck, D. G. et al. 1989. Observations on little-known Phaseolus germplasm of Ecuador. Pl. Genet. Resources Newslett. 80:15-21.
  11. Delgado-Salinas, A. et al. 2006. Phylogeny of the genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae): a recent diversification in an ancient landscape. Syst. Bot. 31:779-791. URL: www.aspt.net/systematic-botany
  12. Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs
  13. Duke, J. A. 1981. Handbook of legumes of world economic importance
  14. Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage
  15. Fofana, B. et al. 1999. Molecular evidence for an Andean origin and a secondary gene pool for the Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) using chloroplast DNA. Theor. Appl. Genet. 98:202-212.
  16. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Phaseolus+lunatus&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  17. Freytag, G. F. & D. G. Debouck. 2002. Taxonomy, distribution, and ecology of the genus Phaseolus (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in North America, Mexico and Central America. Sida, Bot. Misc. 23:103-110.
  18. Gutiérrez-Salgado, A. et al. 1995. Evidence for two gene pools of the Lima bean, Phaseolus lunatus L., in the Americas. Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 42:15-28.
  19. Instituto de Botánica Darwinion. 2008. Flora del Conosur. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares. Note: as Phaseolus lunatus var. sylvester
  20. International Seed Testing Association. 1982. A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2.
  21. Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada.
  22. Leitão, H. F. 1974. Contribuição ao estudo taxonômico do gênero Phaseolus L. no Brasil. Bragantia 33:62.
  23. León (J. S. Sauget) & Alain (E. E. Liogier). 1946-1969. Flora de Cuba
  24. Lewis, G. P. 1987. Legumes of Bahia
  25. Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  26. Liogier, H. A. & L. F. Martorell. 1982. Flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands: a systematic synopsis.
  27. Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. 1936-. Flora of Peru Note: 1936-1971; new ser. 1980-
  28. Maesen, L. J. G. van der & Sadikin Somaatmadja, eds. 1989. Pulses. Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) 1:57.
  29. Maquet, A. et al. 1999. Phylogenetic study on wild allies of Lima bean, Phaseolus lunatus (Fabaceae), and implications on its origin. Pl. Syst. Evol. 218:43-54.
  30. Maréchal, R. et al. 1978. Étude taxonomique d'un groupe complexe d'espèces des genres Phaseolus et Vigna (Papilionaceae) sur la base données morphologiques et polliniques, traitées par l'analyse informatique. Boissiera 28:145.
  31. Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants. Kulturpflanze 34:116.
  32. Personal Care Products Council. INCI
  33. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  34. Pulle, A. A. et al., eds. 1932-. Flora of Suriname.
  35. Rehm, S. & G. Espig. 1991. The cultivated plants of the tropics and subtropics
  36. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
  37. Serrano-Serrano, M. L. et al. 2010. Gene pools in wild Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) from the Americas: Evidences for an Andean origin and past migrations. Molec. Phylogenet. Evol. 54:76-87.
  38. Soukup, J. 1970. Vocabulario de los nombres vulgares de la flora peruana. 259.
  39. Standley, P. C. & J. A. Steyermark. 1946-1976. Flora of Guatemala.
  40. Walker, E. 1976. Flora of Okinawa and the southern Ryukyu Islands.
  41. Woodson, R. E. & R. W. Schery, eds. 1943-1980. Flora of Panama.
  42. Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994-. Flora of China (English edition).
  43. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

Check other web resources for Phaseolus lunatus L. :

  • Flora del Conosur: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Conosur
  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • ILDIS: International Legume Database & Information Service
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?27591. Accessed 15 August 2020.