Pisum arvense L. - Field peas.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Pisum L.

Morphology and biology.

An annual or winter plant that reaches up to 1 m in height. Stems of plants are simple or ramified in the bottom part. Stipules are rather narrow with denticles; at the base, they usually have a violet stain. Leaves consist of 2-3 pairs of leaflets with placed-denticled edges. Leaf axis ends in a branchy, short tendril. Inflorescences are usually mono-floral; they are almost equal in length to or longer than the bracts, but they are no more than twice as long as the bracts. Flowers are usually variegated, less often white. Flag is red. Keel is longer than wings. Pods are about 4 cm in length (sometimes up to 7 cm in length), 1.5 cm in width. Seeds are round, slightly angular, with varied coloring, from chartreuse to brown-red, with dark spots. Blossoms in July; fructifies in August-September.


The common distribution area includes Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. In the USA, it is invasive. Within the former USSR, the species occurs throughout the European part (the Baltic, the Upper and Middle Dnepr, the Upper Dnestr). In the east, it reaches Vologda, Ufa and Astrakhan.


Weed in crops of peas and other leguminous and grain crops.

Use and economic value.

It is cultivated with mixed grasses and as an independent crop as a fodder plant; it is common in Central and Northern Europe and in India (green matter and seeds are used). Ground seeds are sometimes used as flour. Produces many fodder grades of peas.


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).
Kamelin R.V., Kovalevskaja S.S., Nabiev M.M., eds. 1981. Manual of Plants of Middle Asia. Vol. 6. USSR, Tashkent, Publishing House Fan, 396 p.
Shishkin B.K., Bobrov E.G., eds. 1948. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 13. M.-L.: Publishing House of Acad. Science, pp. 524-525. (in Russian).
Tsvelev N.N. 2000. Manual of the vascular plants of Northwestern Russia (Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod district). St. Petersburg, Publishing House of SPHFA, p. 511. (in Russian).
Vulf E.V., Maleyeva O.F. 1969. Worldwide resources of useful plants. Reference book. Leningrad: Nauka, p. 233. (in Russian).

© T.N. Smekalova


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