Monday, July 5, 2010

The Perennial Tuberous Pea

The tuberous pea (Lathyrus linifolius, Synonym: Lathyrus montanus) is a perennial plant, which belongs to the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae). The species is on the Dutch Red List of plants as very rare and very much reduced. The plant is native to western and central Europe. The plant is found in the eastern Netherlands and South Limburg.

The plant is 15-40 cm high and has a winged stem. The plant has swollen rhizomes, tuberous pea hence the name. The leaves consist of two or three pairs of leaflets and have no branches. The leaflets are very variable in shape from elliptical to narrow linear, 2-5 cm long and 0.3 to 0.8 cm wide.

The tuberous pea blossoms from April to June with red, 11-15 mm long flowers later blue. A second time the plant can bloom in autumn. Inflorescence a raceme with three to five flowers are.

The fruit is a smooth, nearly round, 3-4 cm long and 0.4-0.5 cm wide pods. The pod has a short beak and ripe black leather brown to brown. The pods are about ten nearly round smooth seeds, which ocher-yellow to reddish in color.

The plant is found in forest edges and on loamy soils along roadsides and New Zealand fields.

Previously, the sweet, slightly chestnuts flavored rhizomes used in diarrhea, bleeding and ulcers. In Scotland there was an alcoholic drink made. They were also eaten as dried and as food for the road taken. Furthermore, the hunger and thirst suppression.

Another species previously have been consumed, the aardaker (Lathyrus tuberosus).

Names in other languages:

• German: Mountain Platterbse

• English: Bitter Vetch

• French: Gesse des montagnes


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

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