- lathyrus sativus -


- Lathyrus sativus -

Living lab GPean-Port

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General information

Name: Grass pea

Latin name: Lathyrus sativus

Appearance: Lathyrus sativus is an erect or ascending, much-branched, bushy or slender legume reaching
a height of 30-90 cm, with a deep, much-branched taproot with numerous, normally white to bluishpurple flowers carried on a stiff axillary stalk.

Biophysical environment

Soil type: Wide range of soil types, including very poor soil and heavy clays (Campbell, 1997)

Climate type: Drought-stricken, rain-fed areas. But can also be grown on land subject to flooding (Campbell , 1997).

Topography: medium mountains, mountains

Environmental Tolerance

Drought tolerance: Medium / high

Disease resistance and mycotoxins: Generally resistant to diseases, but susceptible to some pests (like Bruchus)

Freeze tolerance: Low/ medium tolerance to cold

Weed Competition: Low / medium

Processing information

Destination: Grains are normally boiled whole, or may be processed through a dal mill to obtain split dal. Whole seed flour used for backery or pastry. Grains can also be used to produce fermented products. The green whole pods are cooked and eaten as a vegetable (Campbell, 1997)

Interest in short chains: Yes, almost all sell directly by the farmer to the consumer, with or without mild processing

Organoleptic quality: Tasty seeds

Nutritional value: High protein content (26-28%) (Rotter et al, 1991), and interesting contents of some heath benefitial compounds (like phenolic compounds) (Campbell , 1997)

Other use and co-products: Grown for its grain, but also used for

fodder or green manure


Particular Restrictions:

Ethnobotanical Information

Vavilov (1951) described two separate centres of origin for Lathyrus. One was the Central Asiatic Centre, which includes northwest India, Afghanistan, the Republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and western Tian-Shan. The second was the Abyssinian Centre.

Varieties of interest

Chícharo de Alvaiázere

General information

Name: Chícharo de Alvaiázere

Type de cultivar: Population

Characteristics of interest: Traditional variety grown in Alvaiázere (Portugal)

Registered on the offical catalog:  No, but request of IGP

Appearance: A branched, bushy plant with white flowers and large white seeds


Biophysical environment

Soil type: Limstone poor soils

Climate type: Mediterranean

Topography: Medium mountains


Environmental Tolerance

Drought tolerance: 

Disease resistance and mycotoxin:

Weed Competition:


Agronomic characteristics

Sowing period: December – February 

Earliness at flowering: 

Earliness at maturity:

Harvest period: July -August

Nitrogen requirements: None

Yield level (t/ha) or compared to species average:


Processing  Information:

Destination: Direct seed selling for home consumption, processing by backery and pastry processors

Interest in short chains: Yes, highly valued at the regional level due to its role as agricultural and gastronomic heritage safeguard 

Organoleptic quality : Very tasty seeds


Ethnobotanical information

The interactive map of NUCs stackeholder's

Catalogues offering NUCs

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