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Lathyrus tuberosus - L.

Common Name Earthnut Pea, Tuberous sweetpea
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Although no records of toxicity have been found for this plant, the seed of some species in this genus contain a toxic amino acid that can cause a severe disease of the nervous system known as 'lathyrism' if they are eaten in large amounts (although small quantities are said to be nutritious)[65, 76]. Great caution is advised.
Habitats Cornfields and hedgerows, avoiding acid soils[17].
Range Europe to W. Asia. Naturalized in Britain in a very few sites in E. England.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Lathyrus tuberosus Earthnut Pea, Tuberous sweetpea


Lathyrus tuberosus Earthnut Pea, Tuberous sweetpea

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lathyrus tuberosus is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked or raw[2, 27, 46, 61, 105]. Sweet and starchy, it is delicious when baked with a flavour that is somewhat like a sweet potato[183, K]. Taste trials consistently place this root very highly, it is certainly one of our favourites[K]. Unfortunately, yields are rather low and so the plant is only worthwhile growing as a taste treat, not as a staple crop[K].

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

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good garden soil[200]. It prefers a limestone soil in a warm position[13], and likes some shade[1]. A climbing plant, scrambling through other plants and supporting itself by tendrils[219]. It tends to be slightly invasive[187] with new stems emerging at some distance from the parent plant[219]. The earthnut pea has occasionally been cultivated for its edible root[2, 183]. Slugs are inordinately fond of this plant and will totally destroy it given a chance[K]. A good bee plant. 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].

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 of the tubers when the plant is dormant in spring or autumn.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Lathyrus alatus 10
Lathyrus aphacaYellow-Flowered Pea11
Lathyrus ciceraChickling Vetch, Red pea10
Lathyrus davidii 10
Lathyrus japonicusBeach Pea, Smallflower beach pea20
Lathyrus japonicus maritimusBeach Pea20
Lathyrus latifoliusPerennial Sweet Pea, Perennial pea10
Lathyrus linifolius montanusBitter Vetch20
Lathyrus nervosusLord Anson's Pea20
Lathyrus ochroleucasCream Peavine11
Lathyrus ochrusCyprus Vetch10
Lathyrus odoratusSweet Pea, Wild Pea,Vetchling10
Lathyrus ornatusBush Vetchling11
Lathyrus palustrisSlenderstem Peavine, Marsh pea10
Lathyrus polymorphusManystem Peavine, Hoary pea10
Lathyrus pratensisMeadow Vetchling01
Lathyrus quinquenervius 10
Lathyrus sativusChickling Pea, White pea21

 

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Botanical References

17200

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Subject : Lathyrus tuberosus  
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