Phaseolus lunatus (106 days) Open-pollinated. Also known as Henderson’s Leviathan, for those with a season long enough to grow pole limas. Developed from a cross between Large White and Dreer by Frank S. Platt in 1883. Platt selected five- and six-seeded Large White pods so that the King’s long flat 8" pods dependably produce at least 4 large creamy-white seeds of splendid quality over an extended harvest period. Gregory called them the standard late pole lima and advised in his 1917 catalog that the plants are extremely vigorous so that “no more than two should be allowed to grow to a pole.” Indeed, the vines can grow 10' high on fertile ground! Caution: Not adapted to northern areas. Avg 480 seeds/lb. ③
325 King of the Garden
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About 65 seeds/oz.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing.
Originally from Peru where they were cultivated 4,000 years ago by the Lima culture.
Culture: Lima beans require more heat than bush beans and are indifferent performers in cold wet summers. Minimum soil temperature 60°, optimal range 70–85°. Tender, will not survive frost. Plant 3–4 seeds/ft in rows 24–30" apart. Plant as other bush or pole beans. Bush limas can be prone to twining (developing viny tendrils). Harvest at shelling stage when beans bulge in fading pliable pods, before pods start to dry out. Pick frequently for maximum yields, but avoid disturbing foliage in wet weather to prevent spread of fungal diseases.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.