pea


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pea,

hardy, annual, climbing leguminous plant (Pisum sativum) of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family), grown for food by humans at least since the early Bronze Age; no longer known in the wild form. It is cultivated everywhere in home gardens and on a large scale commercially for freezing or canning. The round seed, borne in a pod, is a highly nutritious food, having a high protein and fiber content. The pod, too, of the varieties known as sugar peas, can be eaten, and the whole plant is grown for forage; the vines of garden varieties are also used for feeding stock. In New England many gardeners plant them on Apr. 19, the anniversary of the battle of Lexington—hoping to have their first peas by the Fourth of July, when according to traditional use they accompany salmon on the menu. Split peas are obtained from the field pea (var. arvense), grown also for forage and as a green manure. About three quarters of the total world crop of the field pea variety is grown in China; much is used for stock feed. It is believed that peas were long grown only for use as pea meal, dried peas, or forage. Using peas as a green table vegetable began in the late Middle Ages, and the garden varieties were developed subsequently. The garden pea is renowned as the plant with which Gregor Mendel conducted the experiments that initiated the science of genetics. The chickpeachickpea,
annual plant (Cicer arietinum) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), cultivated since antiquity for the somewhat pealike seeds, which are often used as food and forage, principally in India and the Spanish-speaking countries.
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 and the sweet peasweet pea,
annual climbing plant (Lathyrus odoratus) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), a legume native to S Europe but, since its introduction to horticulture c.1700, widely cultivated for its fragrant flowers.
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 belong to different genera. Peas are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.

pea

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(botany)
Pisum sativum. The garden pea, an annual leafy leguminous vine cultivated for its smooth or wrinkled, round edible seeds which are borne in dehiscent pods.
Any of several related or similar cultivated plants.

pea

1. an annual climbing leguminous plant, Pisum sativum, with small white flowers and long green pods containing edible green seeds: cultivated in temperate regions
2. 
a. the seed of this plant, eaten as a vegetable
b. (as modifier): #5pea soup
3. any of several other leguminous plants, such as the sweet pea, chickpea, and cowpea
References in classic literature ?
sings out the others, and fill their mouths choke-full of peas to last the whole line.
They found the ashes scattered by the wind, but the peas and lentils had sprouted, and grown sufficiently above the ground, to guide them in the moonlight along the path.
We also put in a cabbage and about half a peck of peas.
Though the conversation was very incoherent and Vera was angry at the intrusion of the masculine element, both husband and wife felt with satisfaction that, even if only one guest was present, their evening had begun very well and was as like as two peas to every other evening party with its talk, tea, and lighted candles.
We boys were all shelling peas, but the story, as it went on, rapt us from the poor employ, and whatever our fingers were doing, our spirits were away in that strange land of adventures and mishaps, where the fevered life of the knight truly without fear and without reproach burned itself out.
No more can it be explained than can a human explain why, at luncheon to-day, he selects green peas and rejects string beans, when only yesterday he elected to choose string beans and to reject green peas.
To-day I have those three fields sown with Canada peas, and in the spring they shall be ploughed under for green manure.
Anne," she said to that small personage, who was shelling peas by the spotless table and singing, "Nelly of the Hazel Dell" with a vigor and expression that did credit to Diana's teaching, "did you see anything of my amethyst brooch?
But from the strong growth of young plants produced from such seeds (as peas and beans), when sown in the midst of long grass, I suspect that the chief use of the nutriment in the seed is to favour the growth of the young seedling, whilst struggling with other plants growing vigorously all around.
I got twelve bushels of beans, and eighteen bushels of potatoes, beside some peas and sweet corn.
True, I replied, I had forgotten; of course they must have a relish-salt, and olives, and cheese, and they will boil roots and herbs such as country people prepare; for a dessert we shall give them figs, and peas, and beans; and they will roast myrtle-berries and acorns at the fire, drinking in moderation.
thought the old Queen-mother; however, she said not a word of what she was going to do; but went quietly into the bedroom, took all the bed-clothes off the bed, and put three little peas on the bedstead.