phosphorus is an important mineral nutrient for vegetables. this work was conducted at universidade federal da paraíba, in areia, brazil, from december/2001 to july/2002, aiming to evaluate the effect of levels of p2o5 on the yield of lima bean, cv. "orelha de vó". the experimental design was a randomized block with five treatments (0; 100; 200; 300; 400 and 500 kg ha-1 of p2 o5), and four replications. each plot consisted of 40 plants spaced 1.0 m between rows and 0.50 m between plants in each row. the estimated maximum yield of green and dry beans (5.2 and 2.7 t ha-1, respectively) corresponded, to the dosages of 309 and 302 kg ha-1 of p2o5. the levels 291 kg ha-1 and 281 kg ha-1 of p2o5 provided, respectively, the greater economic return for the yield of green (4.1 t ha-1) and dry (1.8 t ha-1) beans. the most economic levels included more than 80% of those dosages responsible for the maximum yields and indicated the economic viability of phosphorus utilization on lima bean crop. the p2o5 levels which promoted the maximum yield and the maximum economic return for green and dry beans yield were respectively, with 57.1; 56.3; 55.0 and 53.8 mg dm-3 of available p for the extractor of melich 1. the lima bean response to the phosphorus fertilization in soils with similar fertility used in the present study, for green and dry beans yield, will be reduced at levels of available p superior to 55.0 and 53.8 mg dm-3. the average concentration of p in the leaves of lima bean, 120 days after sowing, in function of levels of p2o5 was of 3.4 g kg-1. for the soil of this study the application of 291 and 281 kg ha-1 of p2o5 is more recommended to establish the lima bean respectively, for green and dry beans yield.