Pisum sativum subsp. elatius var. pumilio
Pisum sativum subsp. elatius (Steven ex M. Bieb.) Asch. & Graebn. var. pumilio Meikle
Syn: Pisum humile Boiss. & Noë, 1856
Common names: Forage pea, Field pea, Garden pea [En], Pois, Pois cultivé [Fr], Erwt [Nl], Erbse [De], Guisante, Alverja, Arveja [Es], Pisello [It], Αρακάς [Gr], Bezelye [Tu]
Olympos, ANTALYA ● Turkey
Description: Pisum sativum is a rapid-growing, glabrous annual growing to 2 m (6ft 7in), with angular or roundish hollow stems covered with a waxy bloom. In leafy types, leaves consist of one or more pairs of opposite leaflets borne on petioles together with several pairs of tendrils (which are essentially modified leaves) and a single or compound terminal tendril. Leaflets broad and ovate with distinct ribs, and slightly toothed or entire. The two (pseudo) stipules at the base of the leaf are also ovate but much larger than the leaflets. In semi-leafless types the leaflets are replaced by tendrils but the stipules are still present while in leafless types the leaflets are also replaced by tendrils but the stipules are stunted. The two leafless types have better standing ability than the leafy types. The plants are tap-rooted, l m or more in depth, with numerous lateral roots. On each plant, inflorescences comprising one or two self-fertile flowers are borne on the end of axillary peduncles. Flower colour differs according to cultivar with white, pink, lavender, blue and purple represented. Pods containing several seeds, flattened when young but becoming roundish later, are dehiscent along two sides. Seeds range in colour from dun to brown and may be mottled.
Several subspecies and varieties are known.
• P. sativum subsp. elatius: Seeds densely papillose; peduncles ¼-4 x as long as stipules; flowers bi-coloured; legumes 7-12 mm broad (wild)
P. sativum subsp. elatius var. elatius: Peduncles l-2(-3)-flowered, 2-4 x as long as stipules; leaflets (2-)3-4-paired; stems 60-200 cm; flowers (20-)25-30 mm – Rocky or grassy slopes, ruins, field margins, s.1.-1700 m, S. Europe, Crimea, N. Africa, Cyprus, W. Syria, Caucasia, N. Iran, Turkey-in-Europe, Outer Anatolia, Aegean islands.
P. sativum subsp. elatius var. brevipedunculatum: peduncles 1-flowered, ¼-l(-l½) x as long as stipules; leaflets (l-)2(-3)-paired; stems 30-60 cm; flowers c. 20-22 mm – Fields, vineyards, hollows, roadsides, 700-1000 m, C. Anatolia, Amanus, Cyprus. Largely replacing var. elatius and var. pumilio in C. Anatolia, and somewhat intermediate between them, though closer to the former.
P. sativum subsp. elatius var. pumilio: Flowers 15-18 mm; legumes 40-45 x 7-8(-ll) mm; leaflets 1-3-paired, elliptic or elliptic-obovate, usually ± dentate; stems 10-30 cm, more slender. – Peduncles usually ½-2 x as long as stipules, l(-2)-flowered. Scrub, rocky slopes, fallow fields, 700-1800 m, mainly E. Anatolia; local in N.W. & S. Anatolia., W. Syria, Cyprus, N. Iraq, Syrian Desert, N.W. & W. Iran, N. Egypt.
• P. sativum subsp. sativum: Seeds not papillose, but smooth or wrinkled; peduncle ½-2 x as long as stipules; flowers white or bicoloured; legumes 12-17(-30) mm broad (cultivated, spontaneous or wild)
P. sativum subsp. sativum var. arvense: Flowers bicoloured; stipules with a reddish spot; seeds 4-8 mm. often angled and blotched – Field weed, rocky places, ascending to 1250 m, widely scattered, cultivated for fodder (as the field pea) and spontaneous in Europe and S.W. Asia.
P. sativum subsp. sativum var. sativum: Flowers white; stipules without a reddish blotch; seeds usually larger, globose and unblotched var. sativum – cosmopolitan, cultivated for its edible seeds and represented by numerous cultivars.
Biology: It is in flower from April to June.
Habitat: Scrub, rocky slopes, fallow fields, 700-1800 m.
Distribution: The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The original species from which garden peas were developed still grows wild in the eastern Mediterranean region, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Peas have been cultivated for at least 8000 years. The earliest archaeological finds of peas come from Neolithic Syria, Turkey and Jordan.
Uses: Young shoots and immature seedpods are edible raw or cooked. Sweet and delicious, they can be added to salads, or lightly cooked. The mature seeds are rich in protein and can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc. The mature seed can also be dried and ground into a powder, then used to enrich the protein content of flour when making bread etc. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
Pisum sativum has also interesting medicinal proprieties. The seed is contraceptive, fungistatic and spermicidal. The dried and powdered seed has been used as a poultice on the skin where it has an appreciable affect on many types of skin complaint including acne. The oil from the seed, given once a month to women, has shown promise of preventing pregnancy by interfering with the working of progesterone. The oil inhibits endometrial development. In trials, the oil reduced pregnancy rate in women by 60% in a 2 year period and 50% reduction in male sperm count was achieved.
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