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Lathyrus japonicus

Lathyrus japonicus Willd.

L. maritimus

Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusLathyrusFrom Greek lathyros, an old name for “pea”
Speciesjaponicus“Japanese”

About plant names...

Beach pea inhabits coastal areas in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It is also found through much of interior Canada and the northern United States.

Identification: Plants are 12-24" (30-60 cm) tall. Flowers are ¾" (1.9 cm) in size, in clusters of 6 to 10. Leaves are in opposite pairs, oval in shape, with a tendril at the tip of each branch. They are an attractive mix of dark and light pink in color, and appear from June to August. Fruits look identical to those of garden sweet peas, in clusters of six to ten pods, each 1½-3½" (3.8-8.9 cm) long and ½" (1.3 cm) around.

Edibility: Young plants are edible and nutritious, either raw or cooked. However, the peas, which look tempting because they closely resemble garden peas, are not edible.

Online References:

Lathyrus japonicus at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Lathyrus japonicus at Minnesota Wildflowers

Lathyrus japonicus on CalPhotos

Lathyrus japonicus on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Lathyrus japonicus on Ontario Wildflowers

Lathyrus japonicus on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Lathyrus japonicus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lathyrus japonicus on eFloras

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

10/4/2008 · Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island, MA
≈ 18 × 12" (46 × 30 cm) ID is uncertain

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME

Lathyrus japonicus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 17 Jun 2016.

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Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

8/26/2007 · Fogarty Creek, Lincoln City, OR
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 8.8 cm) ID is uncertain

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

9/20/2009 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME
≈ 31 × 21" (78 × 52 cm)

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

6/10/2016 · Lobster Cove Trail, Monhegan Island, ME
≈ 31 × 21" (78 × 52 cm)

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

9/20/2014 · Chebeague Island, ME · By Constance B. Kent ID is uncertain

Lathyrus japonicus (Beach Pea, Sea Pea, Circumpolar Pea, Sea Vetchling)

7/15/2012 · Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, ME
≈ 11 × 9" (27 × 23 cm)

Range:

About this map...