Volunteer field peas

Pisum sativum

Overview: Pisum sativum is an annual (with a life cycle of one year) climbing herb up to 3 metres tall (up to 1.3 metres for the sugar pea types) with a well developed taproot extending up to 1.2 metres into the soil.
Leaves: The pinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, each leaf comprising up to 4 pairs of leaflets and ending in a tendril which is usually branched. The stipules (appendages at the base of the leaf) are leaf-like and are up to 10 x 4 cm in size. The petiole (the part of the leaf which connects to the stem) is up to 7 cm long.
Flowers: The flowers are arranged along an unbranched axis (a raceme), and the racemes are 1-3 flowered and axillary (arising in the axil, between the main stem and a leaf). The flowers are white to purple and are papilionaceous, typical of species belonging to the Leguminosae subfamily Papilionoideae. Each flower has 10 stamens, nine of which are fused into a partial tube, with the tenth stamen free. The ovary is positioned above the sepals, petals and stamens. The style is curved and is longitudinally grooved.
Fruit: The fruit is a pendent oblong pod, 3.5–15 × 1–2.5 cm in size and containing up to 11 seeds. The seeds are globose (spherical), sometimes wrinkled, 5-8 mm in diameter and vary in colour from yellow (sugar pea), green (crinkled garden pea) to purple or spotted or creamish white.

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