Lima beans are a tasty treat when harvested and picked at the proper stage. Some of the heirloom varieties have so much flavor in the green shell stage. The biggest mistake people make is planting them too early. They love the heat and will not germinate in cold soil. UPDATED FOR 2023. 2022 was tough year for beans, my bum leg in June delayed planting and some just were not ready at frost time, huge crops of greenpods not ripe enough for seed.
Empress- 90 days- large seeds which are white with maroon spotting. Many people have tried to produce a Speckled Calico Lima . Empress comes out on top for both production and spotting. The difficulty in producing a nice spotted lima is that one must always make selections every year on the most spotted seeds to save for the next season. Without selection the pattern quickly disintegrates to streaking and the over production of the maroon color. A great variety to work with if someone enjoys a challenge Large vigorous vines. Developed by Curt Burroughs as a cross of Christmas Lima. ( 20 seeds) Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Grandma Storrt’s Speckled
Grandma Storrt’s Speckled- 90 days-Truly a beautiful colored bean. There are not a lot of tri-colored lima beans available which makes this variety a keeper. Similar to Ganymede in shape, size and growth pattern. The primary difference is that this one is speckled white, red and maroon tri-colored where as Ganymede is white, red and black tricolored. Once considered extinct this one was saved in Tom’s freezer. 25 seeds Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Hort’s Climbing Pea
Hort’s Climbing Pea-90 days- An incredibly productive variety which goes into overdrive producing an excess of small round cream and red colored beans. Seed coat being mostly cream with red spots and streaks on the top portion of the bean. This variety was so productive one almost got tired of harvesting it. It was an early producer and after a short break started back up with another productive burst which seemed to rival UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
Indian red - 90 days- Another one from Tom Knoche's freezer collection from the early days of the Seed Savers Exchange. Seed was well over 30 years old when we managed to get 2 seeds to grow and have now increased to the point where we can spread it around. A very dark red colored type. Pkt. ( 20 seeds). $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Amazing long willow like leaves with massive foliage that grows like jungle. By season end the plants took down the bean fence. I can't imagine what they would do in a warmer longer season. I planted them in early June and just started getting flowers in mid September despite huge foliage and vines. Plants were loaded with immature beans at frost time in mid October. 1 oz Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Old Fashioned-80 days- Once considered extinct, yet another one saved from Tom’s freezer. A reliable variety that produces early with a big flush of beans, coming back again at the end of mid season with another smaller crop. Solid white seeds of Sieva type, but of a slightly larger size on average than most Sieva types. Strong vines with strong production. UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
Pinwheel- 85 days- medium sized maroon bean with white radiating from the hilum out on the top half of the bean. Quite unique as far as lima seed coat colors go. Bears heavily and reliably, this mid -season producer that tends to produce all at once. Developed by Curt Burroughs.
UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
Ping Pong- 85 days- Developed as a cross between Ping Zebra and Phoebe Vinson, this is one of the most productive varieties of lima beans available. Bean size is small and seed coat is a light cream with varying amounts of purple splashes. Seed coat also exemplifies a slight pinkish veining. A delightful bean, Ping Pong produces from midseason until frost and is a vigorous grower.
UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
Pink Standard- 85 days- a true solid pink lima bean, this variety is unique in how vivid the color is when harvested fresh. Some seeds contain a few tiny black dots on the seed coat. A medium sized bean, that is a vigorous grower and produces average yield. The pod has an unusual pod shape with many pods turning at a ninety degree angle half way down the pod. Originally from Peru.
UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
Romance- 85 days- A stunning bean, white with a dark maroon hilum and a soft blush of maroon radiating out from the hilum. Medium-large sized beans and a strong producer. this variety bears mid season and will produce a second crop inIowa if the season is long enough. A fun variety to shell. Developed from Christmas Lima as a cross by Curt Burroughs. Produced 2 large crops in our hot 2021 summer. Pkt. ( 1 oz. ) $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Rosie Claire-85 days- Developed as a natural sport from Christmas Lima, this variety has been around for a very long time in the South. Very productive with medium- large sized seeds. The seed coat is mostly half white and half maroon with a lot of white mottling in the maroon areas. Large vines and a one flush product. Pkt. ( 1oz) $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Suddeths - 85 days- Unfortunately I did not inherit all of Tom's notes and source information as much was lost in a fire he had before he died. I will always wonder if this also came from the same person who had a strain of Brandywine tomato. We had just a few seeds but they produced well. Pkt. ( 20-25 seeds) $3.00 Certified Organic Seed
Thomas-90 days- A late season white Sieva type. This variety was without a name in Tom’s freezer. Not spectacular in the Midwest and the pods tend to shatter when too dry. Small flat seeds, probably better suited for southern states. Sieva types just tend to not do well for us, tons of flowers and few beans,
UNAVAILABLE FOR 2023
Tom’s Divide- 85 days- When Tom passed away this was one of the many varieties in his freezer. Labeled as Ganymede this is not that. Seeds are roughly half white and half maroon. A nice grower, mid season maturity, with slightly higher than average production. Given this name as there is no way to determine a name otherwise. 1 oz. Pkt. $3.00 Certified Organic Seed