Lathyrus cyaneus (Stev.) C. Koch - Blue grass pea.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Lathyrus L.

Basic synonyms:

Orobus cyaneus Stev.

Morphology and biology.

A perennial plant, 15-25 cm in height. Stems are ascending, almost upright. Stipules are semi-sagittate, linear-lanceolate, with denticle at its base, 8-10 mm in length, 1-2 (5) mm in width. Stalks are short. A leaf axis is either short or more advanced; leaflets consist of 1-2 pairs of linear-lanceolate leaflets, 30-50 mm in length, 1-2 (4) mm in width. Peduncle is longer than leaf, with 1-3 (4) flowers, sometimes with 5-15 flowers. Flower is 15-25 mm in length. Calyx denticles are lanceolate; top ones are triangular, much shorter than bottom ones. Corolla is dark blue-lilac; at the base, it is white; petals are on long stems. Flag is oblong-oval. Wings are oblong. Keel has spherical bottom part. Style is gradually expanded to its upper part. Pods are linear, 40-45 mm in length, pointed at the top, brown. Pod.s valves are slightly convex. Seeds are almost spherical, dark. Blossoms in May; fructifies in June.


Distribution area includes Asia Minor (east) and the Armenian-Kurdish region. Within the former USSR, the species occurs throughout the Caucasus (in all areas except Talysh).


Occurs in mountain meadows at elevations of 1500-2400 m.

Use and economic value.

Used for fodder. It is eaten by cattle in mountain pastures. Green material contains 20% protein and up to 2.5% oil.


Cherepanov, S.K. 1995. Plantae Vasculares Rossicae et Civitatum Collimitanearum (in limicis USSR olim). St. Petersburg, Mir I Semia, 990 p. (in Russian).
Shishkin B.K., ed. 1948. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 13. M.-L.: Publishing House of Acad. Science, p. 512. (in Russian).

© T.N. Smekalova

Copyright on the picture belongs to E.A. Dzyubenko.

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