Grass Pea

Grass Pea

Scientific name: Lathyrus sativus L.

English names: Grass Pea, Chickling Pea.

Local name: Khesari






Kingdom : Plantae
Division :Magnoliophyta
Class :Magnoliopsida
Subclass :Rosidae
Order :Fabales
Family :Fabaceae
Genus :Lathyrus
Species :L. sativus



Botanical Description of Grass Pea 

Habit: Annual herb, a procumbent, slender, glabrous to sub-glabrous.

Grass pea

Root: Well developed tap-root having bacterial nodules, much branched.

Stem: Winged, soft and succulent.

Leaf: Alternate, even pinnate, rachis ending one to three delicate tendrils,leaflets two to fours.

Inflorescence: Axile solitary

Flower: Zygomorphic, hermaphrodite, solitary, peduncles three to six centimeter long.

Calyx: Sepal 5, gamosepalous,

Corolla: Petal 5, papilonaceous composed of a standard, two wing and two keel, petals more or less exerted, 1.2-2.5 cm long, blue or purple with white keel,subsessile or stipitate, many-ovuled, styles dorsally flattened, bearded longitudinally on the inner side, stigmas terminal, capitate.

Fruit:  Pod, oblong, retuse, flattened.


Seed: Non-endospermic, globose or angled, white, brown, grey or mottled.

Grass pea seeds1.preview

Economic Importance: Grass pea is one of the cheapest pulses. It is grown as fodder. The leaves are also eaten as vegetable. The seeds contain about 28% protein. It is said that continuous use of this pulse may cause lathyrism in human and animal, due to the presence of toxic substances. This can be overcome by soaking the seeds overnight in water and discarding the water before cooking.


Table 1. The grass pea varieties released by NARS institutes are summarized here


Serial Number Name of Variety Developed by Year of release Growing season Average yield
1 BARI Kheshari-1 Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna 1995 Rabi 1400-1600 kg ha-1
2 BARI Kheshari-2 Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna 1996 Rabi 1500-2000 kg ha-1
3 BARI Kheshari-3 Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna Rabi 1800-2000 kg ha-1
4 BARI Kheshari-4 Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna 2013 Rabi 720-1080 kg/ha
5 BARI Kheshari-5 Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna 2018 Rabi
6 Binakheshari-1 BINA, Mymensingh 2001 Rabi 1900 kg ha-1




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