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Overview

Brief Summary

As the name indicates, sea pea grows along the sea shore. In the Netherlands, you find it mostly growing between basalt blocks on the foot of sea dikes. Elsewhere, it grows on stony beaches, steep beach ridges or other such shores. The seeds are spread by the sea, remaining fertile up to five years. In that way, the plant can spread throughout the world. Once the hard seed covering is abraded by sand, the seed will germinate. The major part of the plant is hidden underground. The plant rarely gets the chance to fully flower in the Netherlands, due to harsh conditions and people's tendency to pick the lovely blossoms.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Herbs, Taproot present, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems less than 1 m tall, Climbing by tendrils, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glaucous, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules persistent, Stipules free, Leaves compound, Leaves even pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite , Leaflets 4, Leaflets 5-9, Leaflets 10-many, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Flowers in axillary clusters or few-floweredracemes, 2-6 flowers, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence axillary, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals blue, lavander to purple, or violet, Banner petal ovoid or obovate, Banner petal suborbicular, broadly rounded, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing petals auriculate, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style flattened, Style hairy, Style hairy on one side only, Style persistent in fruit, Fruit a legume, Fruit unilocular, Fruit freely dehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit exserted from calyx, Valves twisting or coiling after dehiscence, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Fruit 11-many seeded, Seeds ovoi d to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Lathyrus japonicus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lathyrus japonicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 33
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Lathyrus japonicus

"Beach Pea" redirects here. This is also used for Galactia species.

Lathyrus japonicus (common names sea pea, beach pea, circumpolar pea and sea vetchling) is a legume native to temperate coastal areas of Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing trailing stems to 50–80 cm long, typically on sand and gravel storm beaches. The leaves are waxy glaucous green, 5–10 cm long, pinnate, with 2-5 pairs of leaflets, the terminal leaflet usually replaced by a twining tendril. The flowers are broad, with a dark purple standard petal and paler purple wing and keel petals; they are produced in racemes of up to twelve flowers.

Description[edit]

Lathyrus maritimus is a perennial plant. The stem grows to 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) and is limp, has no wings and is often hairless. The leaves are alternate, greyish green and somewhat succulent, almost stalkless with large, wide stipules. The leaf blades are pinnate with three to five pairs of narrow lanceolate leaflets with blunt tips, entire margins and a terminal tendril. The inflorescence has a long stem and five to twelve purple flowers, each 14 to 20 mm (0.6 to 0.8 in) long, turning bluer as they age. These have five sepals and five petals and are irregular with a standard, two wings and a fused keel. There are ten stamens and a single carpel. The fruit is a long brown pod up to 50 mm (2.0 in) in length. This plant flowers in July and August.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Lathyrus maritimus is native to temperate parts of Europe, Asia, North and South America.[2] Its typical habitat is sandy or stony seashores and other coastal locations.[1] The unusually extensive native range is explained by the ability of the seeds to remain viable while floating in sea water for up to five years, enabling the seeds to drift nearly worldwide. Germination occurs when the hard outer seed coat is abraded by waves on sand and gravel.

The pods can be eaten but like many members of the genus Lathyrus they contain β-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid, which can cause paralysis called lathyrism. The leaves of the plant are used in Chinese traditional medicine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sea pea: Lathyrus maritimus". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  2. ^ Den virtuella floran: Lathyrus japonicus distribution


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