Lathyrus japonicus


Common Names: Beach pea, sea pea, circumpolar pea, sea vetchling
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Pea family

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing trailing stems to 50 to 80 cm long. The leaves are waxy glaucous green, 5 to 10 cm long, pinnate, with 2 to 5 pairs of leaflets, the terminal leaflet usually replaced by a twining tendril. The flowers are 14 to 22 mm broad, with a dark purple standard petal and paler purple wing and keel petals; they are produced in racemes of 2 to 7 together.

Typically found on sand and gravel storm beaches.

Primary Flower Color: Blue/Purple
Secondary Flower Color: White
 
Edible Notes: The seed is said to be somewhat safe, however they can cause serious illness if eaten in large quantities. The seeds are supposed to be very nutritious, but should not comprise more than 30% of the diet. Because of the danger of poisoning from over-consumption, it is not recommended. The seed contains a toxic amino-acid which, in large quantities, can cause a very serious disease of the nervous system known as 'lathyrism'.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings