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a genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants of the family Leguminosae. The four-angled main stalks are trailing, clinging, climbing, or—less commonly—erect. Their height is 15–20 cm (to 1.5 m). The lateral branches rapidly overtake the main stem in length. The leaves are uniparipinnate or, less commonly, bijugate to quadrijugate; they are oblong-lanceolate or lanceolate. The inflorescence contains one or, less often, two white, purple-violet, yellow, orange, lilac-blue, or pink flowers. The plants generally are self-pollinating. The fruit is a two-winged pod. Three groups are distinguished according to the color of the seeds and flowers (white, light, and dark) and according to the size of the seeds (large, small, and medium—lengths from 4 to 16 mm).

There are more than 100 species, distributed in Europe, Asia, and Northwest Africa. The USSR has 50 species. Most species are forage plants. Lathyrus is cultivated in many countries. In the USSR small areas are planted with the perennial meadow pea (L. pratensis)and the annual field pea (L. sativus), flat podder (L. cicera), and Tangier pea (L. tangitanus). Most widely distributed is the field pea, which is cultivated as a grain crop in the Northern Caucasus, Transcaucasia, the forest-steppe regions of the Ukrainian SSR, the central regions of the RSFSR, Western Siberia, and Middle Asia. The field pea is also grown for green feed and hay in more northern areas. The plant grows well in various soils; it is drought resistant and can withstand temperatures to –8°C. The vegetative period lasts 100 to 115 days in the temperate zone. The seeds are sown at the same time as early spring crops, using the wide-row (for grain) or broadcast (for green feed or hay) method. The sowing rate for pure plantings is 130–160 kg per hectare (ha); the sowing depth is 4–8 cm. The field pea is harvested for grain when 75 percent of the beans turn yellow, for green feed when the plants are in early bloom, and for hay when the beans first develop. In humid years it may yield a good aftercrop and, in a mixture with Sudan grass, a second cutting. The harvest from 1 ha is 220–230 quintals of green feed in pure plantings, 30–35 quintals of hay, and 15–20 quintals of grain.

There are 108.2 feed units and 20.5 kg of digestible protein in 100 kg of the grain and 15.8 feed units and 3.6 kg of digestible protein in 100 kg of green matter. Green feed is readily eaten by cattle and swine, and the hay by cattle and sheep. The meadow pea is particularly leafy. It is cultivated as green feed and hay in the forest, forest-steppe, and steppe zones and the mountain regions of the Caucasus and Middle Asia. The yield of hay is 25–35 quintals per ha. The plant is eaten readily by sheep and horses but not as well by cattle.


Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i paslbishch SSSR, vol. 2. Edited by I. V. Larin, Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Spravochnik po kormoproizvodstvu. Moscow, 1973.


References in periodicals archive ?
The antimicrobial activity of the methanol extracts and n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and water fractions of Lathyrus species is shown in Table 2.
The aim of this work is the study of PGPR associated with indigenous Lathyrus ochrus, endemic in the Northeast region of Algeria.
antarctica seedlings Chusquea culeou 1181 20.4% Festuca pallescens 1079 18.6% Adenocaulon chilense 626 10.8% Osmorhiza beteroi 42 0.7% Vetch (Lathyrus 259 4.5% magellanicus, Vicia nigricans) Unidentified Herbs 685 11.8% Unidentified Shrubs 369 6.4% Coarse Woody Debris 463 8.0% Bare Leaf Litter 1259 21.7% Log Cover 80 1.4% Log Volume ([dm.sup.3]/Ha) 530.7 Cover Sample Points 5792 DRY FOREST Tree Tree Basal Sapling Canopy Density Area Density (s/Ha) ([dm.sup.2]/Ha) (s/Ha) Araucaria araucana 427.6 4914.8 680.9 Nothofagus pumilio Nothofagus antarctica 414.1 256.2 415.8 Totals 841.7 5170.9 1096.7 Sample Area 1.19 Ha Understory Number Percent of Cover Points A.
Antioxidant properties of extracts from fermented and cooked seeds of Polish cultivars of Lathyrus sativus, doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2007.12.028, Food Chemistry; 109(2), 285-292 (2008)
Karyotype analysis of Lathyrus taxa belonging to Platystylis (=Lathyrostylis) section (Fabaceae) from Turkey.
Plant Growth and Leaf Antioxidant Metabolism of Four Elite Grass Pea (Lathyrus sativus) Genotypes, Differing in Arsenic Tolerance.
Bip., Viola littoralis Spreng., Linaria loeselli Schweigg., Carex arenaria L., Lathyrus maritimus and Corynephorus canescens (L.) P.
Once the toxin is removed, lathyrus has all the potential to offer not only affordable pulse for the vast section of the society but also an extraordinarily environmentally tolerant, pest resistant, low irrigational need, hardy crop which is otherwise quite rich in high protein, economical and acceptable taste.
Remedies: Alumina, Anagallis, Aurum, Cenchris, Clematis, Crataegus, Echinacea, Elaps, Hepar Sulphur, Hydrocotyle, Lachesis, Lathyrus, Leptandra, Mercurius, Origanum, Osmium, Naja, Platinum, Plumbum, Plutonium, Psilocibe, Stillangea.
The pea family, specifically the grass pea (Lathyrus sativus), is also a source of poisonous compounds such as the neurotoxin ODAP, which is responsible for lathyrism, a neurological disease.
One case of this being Leguminosae species that have indeterminate inflorescence types, e.g., Caesalpinia eriostachys, Myrospermum frutescens, and Lathyrus vernus [3,13].
Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are among the most favourite garden plants grown, certainly in the UK.