Lens orientalis (Boiss.) Schmalh. - East lentil.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Lens Mill.

The basic synonyms

Ervum orientale Boiss.; Lens culinaris Medik. subsp. orientalis (Boiss.) Ponert.

Morphology and biology.

An annual plant 30 cm in height. Stems are thin, highly branchy, violet. The common leaf axis culminates in a short tendril. Stipules are oblong, lanceolate, and entire. Leaves consist of 3-6 pairs oval or elliptical-lanceolate leaflets, 10-14 mm in length, 2-3.5 mm in width. Peduncles are almost identical in length to the leaves and culminate in spina. Flowers are fine, 4.5-6 mm in length, violet or dark blue; usually one, less often two, flowers are located on top of the peduncle. Denticles of calyx are almost equal to the nimbus in length or are slightly shorter. Flag is oblong-oval with dark blue veins. Wings are a bit lighter than the flag. Keel is almost white. Pods are bare, rhombic, 10 mm in length, 4-6 mm in width. There are usually 2 red, brown, black-spotted, or black seeds in a pod. Blossoms in April; fructifies in June.


The common distribution area includes the Eastern Mediterranean region (Syria, Palestine), Anatoly, Iran, and Afghanistan. Within the former USSR, the species occurs in the Caucasus (Western Transcaucasia (near Novorossisk) and East Transcaucasia) and Central Asia (Syr-Darya and Amu-Darja areas, Western Tien Shan, Western Pamir-Alai, Turkmenian Mountains).


Ephemeral spring plant, usually occurring on foothills and in the lower mountain belt at elevations of 500-1500 m in strongly carbonic soils, less often in clay soils.

Use and economic value.

A good, pasturable fodder plant. Occurs as a field weed.


Cherepanov S.K. 1995. Plantae Vasculares Rossicae et Civitatum Collimitanearum (in limicis USSR olim). St. Petersburg, Mir I Semia, 990 p. (in Russian).
Galushko A.I. 1980. Flora of the North Caucasus: A Manual. Vol. 2. Rostov University, p. 352. (in Russian).
Grossgeim A.A. 1952. Flora of the Caucasus. Vol. 5. Moscow/Leningrad: Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 424 p. (in Russian).
Nikitin V.V., Geldikhanov A.M. 1988. Keys to plants of Turkmenistan. Leningrad: Nauka, 680 p. (in Russian).

© T.N. Smekalova

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

Web design —
Kelnik studios