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Useful Temperate Plants

Pisum sativum

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Garden Pea

Pisum sativum
Ripening seedpods
Photograph by: Lionel Allorge
Creative Commons License
Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum Pisum sativum

General Information

Pisum sativum is a Annual up to 2.00 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

E. Asia.

Habitat

Plants are not known in a genuinely wild condition[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsSelf. Occasionally bees
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
16
Title
New Vegetable Growers Handbook.
Publication
 
Author
Simons.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1977
ISBN
0-14-046-050-0
Description
A good guide to growing vegetables in temperate areas, not entirely organic.
,
37
Title
The Gardener's Assistant.
Publication
 
Author
Thompson. B.
Publisher
Blackie and Son.
Year
1878
ISBN
-
Description
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
]. Prefers a calcareous soil[
37
Title
The Gardener's Assistant.
Publication
 
Author
Thompson. B.
Publisher
Blackie and Son.
Year
1878
ISBN
-
Description
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a rich loamy soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. A light soil and a sheltered position is best for early sowings[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Peas have long been cultivated as a food crop and a number of distinct forms have emerged which have been classified as follows. A separate record has been made for each form:-
P. sativum. The garden pea, including petit pois. Widely cultivated for its sweet-tasting edible immature seeds, as well as the immature seedpods and mature seeds, there are many named varieties[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
] and these can provide a crop from May to October.
P. sativum arvense. The field pea. Hardier than the garden pea, but not of such good culinary value, it is more often grown as a green manure or for the dried seeds.
P. sativum elatius. This is the original form of the species and is still found growing wild in Turkey.
P. sativum elatius pumilio. A short, small-flowered form of the above.
P. sativum macrocarpon. The edible-pod pea has a swollen, fibre-free and very sweet seedpod which is eaten when immature.
The garden pea is widely cultivated and there are many named varieties. There are two basic types of varieties, those with round seeds and those with wrinkled seeds. Round seeded varieties are hardier and can be sown in the autumn to provide an early crop in May or June, wrinkled varieties are sweeter and tastier but are not so hardy and are sown in spring to early summer. Within these two categories, there are dwarf cultivars and climbing cultivars, the taller types tend to yield more heavily and for a longer period but smaller forms are easier to grow, often do not need supports and can give heavier crops from the area of land used (though less from each plant). Cultivars developed for their edible young seeds tend to have pods containing a lot of fibre but some cultivars have now been selected for their larger and fibre-free pods - these cultivars are harder to grow for their seed, especially in damp climates, because the seed has a greater tendency to rot in wet weather.
Peas are good growing companions for radishes, carrots, cucumbers, sweet corn, beans and turnips[
18
Title
Companion Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B.
Publisher
Watkins
Year
1979
ISBN
-
Description
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
,
20
Title
Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Publication
 
Author
Riotte. L.
Publisher
Garden Way, Vermont, USA.
Year
1978
ISBN
0-88266-064-0
Description
Fairly good.
,
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. They are inhibited by alliums, gladiolus, fennel and strawberries growing nearby[
18
Title
Companion Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B.
Publisher
Watkins
Year
1979
ISBN
-
Description
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
,
20
Title
Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Publication
 
Author
Riotte. L.
Publisher
Garden Way, Vermont, USA.
Year
1978
ISBN
0-88266-064-0
Description
Fairly good.
,
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. There is some evidence that if Chinese mustard (Brassica juncea) is grown as a green manure before sowing peas this will reduce the incidence of soil-borne root rots[
206
Title
Oriental Vegetables
Publication
 
Author
Larkcom J.
Publisher
John Murray
Year
1991
ISBN
0-7195-4781-4
Description
Well written and very informative.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Edible Uses

Immature seedpods - raw or cooked[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
13
Title
Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Triska. Dr.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1975
ISBN
0-600-33545-3
Description
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
,
16
Title
New Vegetable Growers Handbook.
Publication
 
Author
Simons.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1977
ISBN
0-14-046-050-0
Description
A good guide to growing vegetables in temperate areas, not entirely organic.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The young seedpods have a sweet flavour, but there is only a thin layer of flesh with a fibrous layer beneath it.
Immature seeds - raw or cooked. Sweet and delicious, they can be added to salads, or lightly cooked[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. A nutritional analysis is available[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].
The mature seeds are rich in protein and can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. They can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The mature seed can also be dried and ground into a powder, then used to enrich the protein content of flour when making bread etc[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].
Leaves and young shoots - cooked and used as a potherb[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The young shoots taste like fresh peas, they are exceptionally tender and can be used in salads[
206
Title
Oriental Vegetables
Publication
 
Author
Larkcom J.
Publisher
John Murray
Year
1991
ISBN
0-7195-4781-4
Description
Well written and very informative.
].

Medicinal

Antiseptic[
93
Title
Flora of Turkey.
Publication
 
Author
Davis. P. H.
Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
Not for the casual reader, this is an immense work in many volumes. Some details of plant uses and habitats.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from late winter until early summer. A minimum temperature of 10°c is required for germination, which should take place in about 7 - 10 days. The earlier sowings should be of suitably hardy varieties, the 'round seeded', whilst later sowings can be of the tastier varieties, the 'wrinkle seeded'. By making fresh sowings every 3 weeks you will have a continuous supply of fresh young seeds from early summer until early autumn. If you want to grow the peas to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice.
Another sowing can be made in middle to late autumn. This has to be timed according to the area where the plants are being grown. The idea is that the plants will make some growth in the autumn and be perhaps 15 - 20cm tall by the time the colder part of winter sets in. As long as the winter is not too severe, the plants should stand well and will grow away rapidly in the spring to produce an earlier crop. Make sure you choose a suitably hardy variety for this sowing.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-12-14. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Pisum+sativum>

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