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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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. an annual climbing leguminous plant, Pisum sativum, with small white flowers and long green pods containing edible green seeds: cultivated in temperate regions
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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005