Grass Pea

Grass Pea

Scientific name: Lathyrus sativus L.

English names: Grass Pea, Chickling Pea.

Local name: Khesari






Kingdom: Plantae
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 NumberName of VarietyDeveloped byYear of releaseGrowing seasonAverage yield
1BARI Kheshari-1Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna1995Rabi1400-1600 kg ha-1
2BARI Kheshari-2Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna1996Rabi1500-2000 kg ha-1
3BARI Kheshari-3Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, PabnaRabi1800-2000 kg ha-1
4BARI Kheshari-4Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna2013Rabi720-1080 kg/ha
5BARI Kheshari-5Pulse Research Centre, Ishurdi, Pabna2018Rabi
6Binakheshari-1BINA, Mymensingh2001Rabi1900 kg ha-1




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