Patani or Lima Beans, sometimes refer to as butter beans, is an annual growing vine, with green leaves just like other beans and forms clusters of white or pale yellow flowers which is self pollinating. The beans are oblong with slight curve Like kidney and also the main ingredient in succotash, popular American dish. The seeds are green when young or immature and mottled colored when mature.
Patani or lima beans has two types, the pole kind and the bush type.
Pole type beans generally take longer to mature. You can sow the beans directly where you want them to grow, just do not overcrowd them because they would not be as productive. It grows best on sandy, loamy soil and in the sunny location in your garden. It is shallow rooted so you have to be careful when cultivating around the plants. It also needs constant watering to increase yield. It does not tolerate drought. The beans are ready to harvest 60-90 days after planting.
Patani or Lima beans is native to Central America, Guatemala and Southern Mexico. The Spaniards must have brought them in the Philippines and we have been enjoying them ever since. My Mom use it in our everyday dishes like “dining-ding” or “pinakbet“.
Patani or Lima bean is high in protein and carbohydrate and traces amounts of iron.