Scientific name: Lathyrus sativus L.
Bangla/Local name: ‘Kheshari’
Taxonomic Position (according to Cronquist)
Botanical Description of Grass pea
Habit: Annual herb.
Root: Well developed tap-root having bacterial nodules, much branched.
Leaf: Alternate, even pinnate, rachis ending one to three delicate tendrils,leaflets two to fours.
Flower: Paplionaceous, axillary,solitary,peduncles three to six centimeter long.
Fruit: Pod,oblong and flattened.
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.