Historically, gastronomic accounts date the Christmas Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus) to the 1840s when it was especially popular in the southwestern region of the US. The bean, which is often called the chestnut Lima because of it similarity in taste to the nut, is a large—quarter sized—white, flat seed with maroon spots and swirls. These intricate burgundy designs remain on the bean once it is cooked. The Christmas Lima has a full-bodied, nutty, chestnut taste and the texture of baked potatoes. It is used in both its mature green state as a shelled Lima for eating fresh, freezing or canning as well as used dried, cooked into stews and casseroles. The Christmas Lima is very successful in the high desert environments of the southwest. They are hardy, heat tolerant and very productive—a bean known for its yield and versatility.