Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.



a genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants of the family Leguminosae. It includes 27 species. Wild species are found primarily in Middle Asia, Asia Minor, Afghanistan, Iran, and Ethiopia. One annual species, the chick-pea (Cicer arietinutri), is under cultivation; it is divided into four subspecies: Cicer a. orientale, Cicer a. asiaticum, Cicer a. eurasiaticum, and Cicer a. mediterraneum. The chick-pea, a shrub measuring 20–70 cm tall, has oddly pinnate leaves (11–17 leaflets), which are covered with glandular hairs that secrete oxalic, citric, and malic acids. The solitary flowers are white, pink, or red. The fruit is a pod with one, two, or, more rarely, four angular seeds. The seeds are variously colored. One thousand seeds from medium-sized varieties weigh between 200 and 300 g. The chick-pea is photophilic and thermophilic; it can tolerate severe droughts and saline soils. The plant grows best in chernozems and chestnut soils.

Chick-pea seeds contain up to 30 percent protein, up to 7 percent fat, and more than 60 percent nonnitrogenous extractive substances. They also contain vitamin B1. The seeds are used in food, in the manufacture of confectionery products and macaroni, and for livestock feed.

The chick-pea, which is native to Asia, has been cultivated since ancient times in India, Pakistan, and Ethiopia. In the USSR it is cultivated in Middle Asia, Transcaucasia, Kazakhstan, the southern Ukraine, and the Northern Caucasus (in small areas).

Between 1948 and 1972 the worldwide planted area of chickpeas was 10.1–11.8 million hectares (ha); the principal plantings were in India and Pakistan. The average seed yield during this period was 4.9–6.5 quintals per ha (in the USSR, 8–10 quintals per ha; the largest yields were 18–20 quintals per ha). The best varieties in the USSR are Sovkhoznyi and Iubileinyi. It is good to use the chick-pea in crop rotations before cotton and wheat. The crop is responsive to phosphorus fertilizer. Drill seeding or sowing in strips is used. Between 0.6 and 0.8 million seeds are sown per ha, at depths to 6–8 cm.


Miroshnichenko, N. I., and A. M. Pavlova. Nut. Moscow-Leningrad, 1953.
Livanov, K. V. Nut na Iugo-Vostoke. Saratov, 1963.

K. V. LIVANOV [18—48—4]

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Cicer has grown with the leadership of enthusiastic committee members like Loredana Frizzi, who was instrumental in attracting more members.
From a study undertaken in 1987-1992 on Dacnusini (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Alysiinae) and their agromyzid (Diptera: Agromyzidae) hosts in the Iberian Peninsula, data were gathered on the parasitoids of Liriomyza cicerina (Rondani), a species injurious to Cicer arietinum Linnaeus (chickpea) cultures.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate wild Cicer species for drought tolerance and to identify which physiological traits can help different species cope with drought stress successfully.
Based on ANOVA (Table 1), there were significant differences in all measurements for physiological traits between the 3 species of Cicer except for El measured at the 1st and 3rd weeks of stress.
Therefore an increase in osmotic content is a common response of the Cicer genus to drought.
Considering the results of this study, there was obvious variability in physiological responses of different Cicer species.
As above-mentioned in the results, an increase in osmotic content was a common response to drought by the Cicer genus and it was more obvious in C.
The results of time course changes in EL measurements showed that all 3 species of Cicer have mechanisms to increase membrane stability; this response happened faster in C.
In conclusion, although the three wild species of Cicer tested in this study performed well for most physiological traits contributing towards drought tolerance, but revealed reduction in dry matter production and yield components under drought.
Utilisation of wild Cicer in chickpea improvement--progress, constraints and prospects.
CASH GIVEAWAY: Huddersfield Heartline, (from left) Kerri Jones, Pamela Ciceri, Alan Cicer and Clair Bell