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Lathyrus cicera - L.                
                 
Common Name Chickling Vetch
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
Synonyms
Known Hazards The seed (and possibly the whole plant?) is poisonous unless well cooked[61]. The seed of some species in this genus contain a toxic amino acid that can cause a severe disease of the nervous system known as 'lathyrism' if they are eaten in large amounts (although small quantities are said to be nutritious)[65, 76]. Great caution is advised.
Habitats Fields and cultivated places[89].
Range Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 
Lathyrus cicera is a ANNUAL. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Lathyrus cicera Chickling Vetch


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lycaon
Lathyrus cicera Chickling Vetch
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lumbar
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Seed;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked[105]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Seedpods - they must be well cooked[2, 61, 142]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately good garden soil but preferring a position in full sun[200]. Plants are cultivated in southern Europe for their edible seed[61]. Closely related to L. sativus and of possible use in breeding programmes for that species. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, then it can also be sown in situ in mid spring[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
89100
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[89]Polunin. O. and Huxley. A. Flowers of the Mediterranean.
A very readable pocket flora that is well illustrated. Gives some information on plant uses.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[142]Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man.
Readable but not very comprehensive.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Readers comment                                         
 
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