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Lathyrus sylvestris - L.

Common Name Flat pea, Wood pea
Family Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, but especially the seed, contain a toxic amino-acid. It is produced in the plant at about the same time that the seed starts to develop. In small quantities the amino acid is innocuous, and the seeds of several Lathyrus species are eaten as a nutritious part of the diet. However, in larger quantities (the seed should form less than 30% of a balanced diet), it can cause a very serious disease of the nervous system known as 'lathyrism'. Symptoms appear as a paralysis of the muscles below the knees, pains in the back, followed by weakness and stiffness of the legs and progressive locomotive incoordination[65 , 76 , 1309 ].
Habitats Thickets and woods[17].
Range Eurasia - Norway through Britain to Spain, east to Western Siberia, the Caucasus and Greece
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Lathyrus sylvestris Flat pea, Wood pea


Lathyrus sylvestris Flat pea, Wood pea
Kristian Peters -- Fabelfroh wikimedia.org

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lathyrus sylvestris is a deciduous Perennial Climber growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

L. platyphyllus Retz. L. silvester sensu auct. L. silvestris L. [Spelling variant]. Infraspecific taxa: L. sylvestris subsp. pyrenaicus (Jord.) O. Bol?s & Vigo

Habitats

Edible Uses

None Known

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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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The plant is used as a green manure and soil cover for preventing erosion and for rehabilitating degraded land[1309]. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens, there are some named varieties. Nitrogen Fixer.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Lathyrus sylvestris is a moderately cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -20?c when fully dormant[200 ]. Grows well in full sun and in light, dappled shade, succeeding in most moderately fertile, well-drained soils[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[1309 ]. Suggested planting locations and garden types: Forest garden, Flower borders and beds Wall-side Borders Cottage & Informal Garden City & Courtyard Gardens. May be attacked by aphids, slugs and snails.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Flat pea, Wood pea, Narrow-leaved everlasting-pea, perennial Sweet Pea

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern ver 3.1

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 japonicusBeach Pea, Smallflower beach peaPerennial0.6 3-7  LMHNDM20 
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  LMHNMWe01 
Lathyrus quinquenervius Perennial0.6 -  LMHNMWe10 
Lathyrus sativusChickling Pea, White peaAnnual0.6 0-0  LMHNM21 
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.

 

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Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Lathyrus sylvestris  
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