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Lathyrus japonicus - Willd.

Common Name Beach Pea, Smallflower beach pea
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards The seed contains a toxic amino-acid which, in large quantities, can cause a very serious disease of the nervous system known as 'lathyrism'. The seed is said to be perfectly safe and very nutritious in small quantities, but should not comprise more than 30% of the diet[65, 76].
Habitats Sandy coasts from Alaska to N. California[60].
Range W. and N. Europe, E. Asia - China. N. America.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Lathyrus japonicus Beach Pea,  Smallflower beach pea


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gryffindor
Lathyrus japonicus Beach Pea,  Smallflower beach pea

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lathyrus japonicus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 3. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Young plant - raw or cooked. An excellent sustenance[207].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good garden soil[1]. It prefers a deep moist well-drained soil in a cool position[187]. Prefers a position in full sun, growing well on hot sunny banks[200]. The seed remains viable for 4 - 5 years in sea water[200]. 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].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, then it can also be sown in situ in mid spring[200]. Division in spring. It may not transplant well so care should be taken[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lathyrus alatus Perennial0.6 -  LMHSNM10 
Lathyrus aphacaYellow-Flowered PeaAnnual0.9 -  LMHNDM11 
Lathyrus ciceraChickling Vetch, Red peaAnnual0.0 0-0  LMHNM10 
Lathyrus davidii Perennial1.2 5-9  LMHSNM10 
Lathyrus japonicus maritimusBeach PeaPerennial0.6 3-7  LMHNDM203
Lathyrus latifoliusPerennial Sweet Pea, Perennial peaPerennial Climber2.0 5-9 FLMHSNDM102
Lathyrus linifolius montanusBitter VetchPerennial0.6 5-9  LMHSNM203
Lathyrus nervosusLord Anson's PeaPerennial Climber0.5 8-11  LMHNM20 
Lathyrus ochroleucasCream PeavinePerennial1.0 -  LMHSNM11 
Lathyrus ochrusCyprus VetchAnnual0.6 -  LMHNDM10 
Lathyrus odoratusSweet Pea, Wild Pea,VetchlingAnnual Climber2.0 2-11 FLMHSNM103
Lathyrus ornatusBush VetchlingPerennial0.3 3-7  LMHNDM11 
Lathyrus palustrisSlenderstem Peavine, Marsh peaPerennial Climber1.2 4-8  LMHNMWe10 
Lathyrus polymorphusManystem Peavine, Hoary peaPerennial0.4 0-0  LMHNM10 
Lathyrus pratensisMeadow VetchlingPerennial1.2 4-8  LMHNMWe011
Lathyrus quinquenervius Perennial0.6 -  LMHNMWe10 
Lathyrus sativusChickling Pea, White peaAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM213
Lathyrus sylvestrisFlat pea, Wood peaPerennial Climber1.5 6-9 FLMHSNM003
Lathyrus tuberosusEarthnut Pea, Tuberous sweetpeaPerennial1.2 5-9  LMHSNM503

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Willd.

Botanical References

60200

Links / References

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