Lathyrus hirsutus L. - Rough grass pea.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Lathyrus L.

Morphology and biology.

An annual plant 20-50 (70) cm in height. Stems are slightly pubescent or completely bare, ascending, clinging, two-ridged, two-winged. The axis of a leaf comes culminates in a branchy, short cirrus. Stipules are semi-sagittate, 10-12 mm in length, and are shorter than leaf stems. Stems are 15-20 mm in length, shorter than leaflets, with narrow wings. Leaves consist of 1 pair of lanceolate or prolong-lanceolate leaflets; their length is 25-70 mm, and their width is 4-12 mm; they are narrowed toward the top. Peduncle is long, ridged. The inflorescence is rather thin, not a multi-floral raceme. Flowers are 10-13 mm in length, blue-violet-pinkish. Calyx is campanulate; denticles are lanceolate, slightly longer than the tube. Flag is round-ovate, longer than the keel. Pods are linear, 3-3.5 cm in length, 7-8 mm in width. Young pods densely covered with rigid, white hairs, sitting on tubercles. At maturation, hairs fall, and pod becomes rough because of tubercles. Seeds are round, black, tuberculate. Blossoms in May; fructifies in July. 2n=14


Distribution area includes Atlantic and Central Europe, Balkan-Asia Minor and the Armenian-Kurdish areas. Within the former USSR, the species occurs throughout the European part, Crimea, the Lower Don, all of the Caucasus, Central Asia, the mountains of Turkmenistan, Pamiro-Alai, and Tien Shan (Tashkentsky Alatau, Chatkalsky and Fergana ridges).


Usually occurs in fields and weedy places, less often in meadows, in woody marshes, and in river valleys.

Use and economic value.

Fodder plant. Contains much protein and is well-eaten by cattle.


Bobrov E.G., Cherepanov S.K., eds. 1948. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 28. M.-L.: Publishing House of Acad. Science, p. 487. (in Russian).
Cherepanov, S.K. 1995. Plantae Vasculares Rossicae et Civitatum Collimitanearum (in limicis USSR olim). St. Petersburg, Mir I Semia, 990 p. (in Russian).
Fedorov A.A., ed. 1987. Flora of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 6. L.: Nauka, p. 156.
Grossheim, A.A. 1952. Flora of Caucasia. Vol. 5. Moscow-Leningrad: Publishing House of USSR Acad. Science, pp. 404-405, appendix. (in Russian).
Wulf V.V., Maleeva O.F. 1969. The World Resources of the Useful Plants. Leningrad: Nauka, p. 232. (in Russian).

© T.N. Smekalova

Copyright on this picture belongs to Prof. P. Busselen (KULAK- ).

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