GRASS PEA (Lathyrus sativus L.) Seed, Plate 25, Fig. 40.
Botanical description: Grass Pea is an annual. The stems are flattened and more slender than those of ordinary peas, reaching a height of from two to three feet. The leaves consist of one or two pairs of narrow, grass-like leaflets and have branched tendrils. The flowers are solitary and white. The pods are about an inch long and half an inch broad, flat, and contain three or four seeds. The latter are sharply angular, generally yellow or yellowish green.
Geographical distribution: Grass Pea is a native of central Europe. It is grown to some extent in southern Ontario.
Cultural conditions: It prefers a loamy soil, not too heavy, and does best when moisture is not excessive.
Agricultural value: In some places it is used extensively as a fodder plant, giving a healthy food that has never proved injurious to stock. It resists the pea weevil and is therefore important when the ordinary pea cannot be grown on account of this pest.
FLAT PEA (Lathyrus silvestris L.)
Botanical description: Flat Pea is perennial with a vigorous root system consisting of a strong rootstock which sends out numerous side branches and secondary roots. The stems, which reach a height of from two to six feet, are decumbent or ascending, climbing and winding in all directions. They are much branched, angular, and provided with two broad wings. Each leaf consists of one pair of leaflets and a group of tendrils at the end of the elongated midrib of the leaf. The flowers are showy, dark rose-coloured and a trifle smaller than those of ordinary peas.
Geographical distribution: Flat Pea is indigenous to Europe. It grows naturally in woodlands, on stony hillsides, among shrubs, at the borders of woods, in thickets, etc.
Cultural conditions: It does not require particularly good soil but can be successfully grown on poor land. Sandy loam will