Scientific name: Lathyrus sativus
English names: Grass Pea, Chickling Pea.
Local name: Khesari
Botanical Description of Grass Pea
Habit: Annual herb, a procumbent, slender, glabrous to sub-glabrous.
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.
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|