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Botanical Name of Pea
Pea is a small spherical seed of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. It is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Fabaceae. It is grown worldwide for its edible seeds. It can be eaten as a vegetable or as a pulse when dried. A pea can be green or yellow in colour. Veryrarely, the colour can also be purple. Botanically, the pea pods are fruits. Each pea pod contains multiple peas. The botanical name of pea is Pisum sativum. The name pea is also used to describe other edible seeds of Fabaceae family such as cowpea and pigeon pea.
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Peas are annual cool-season crops. Depending on location, pea crops can be planted from winters to early summer. The average weight of a pea can range from 0.1–0.36 g. Peas are grown in many countries such as China, India, UK, France, Canada, Peru, Turkey, etc. In India it is grown in states such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam and many more.
Scientific Classification of Peas
Botanical Name − Pisum sativum
Domain − Eukaryota
Kingdom − Plantae
Class − Dicotyledonae
Family − Fabaceae
Phylum − Spermatophyta
Subphylum − Angiospermae
History and Origin
Peas are one of the oldest cultivated crops. Although the exact origin of domesticated peas has not been traced with complete certainty, the wild plant is native to Mediterranean region. The earliest records of peas date from the late Neolithic era of current Greece, Syria, Turkey, Israel, Iraq, and Jordan. There are records of peas in Harappan civilization and western- and north-western India between 2250–1750 BC.
Description of Peas
Peas are hardy leafy annual plants. There are both low-growing and vining cultivars.
The pea plants have hollow trailing or climbing stems. The stems have terminal tendrils which help in climbing. These tendrils can coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 meters high.
Usually, woody tree branches are thrust upright into soil near pea plants in order to provide them lattice for climbing.
The pea plants bear compound leaves with three pairs of leaflets.
The pea flowers are butterfly-shaped and can be white, pink, purple or reddish in color. Usually there are 2–3 three flowers per stalk.
The pea plants can pollinate by themselves.
The fruit is a pod containing 5–10 seeds attached by short stalks. This pod can grow to 10 cm long. There are many varieties of peas.
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Types of Peas
Garden peas − There are many varieties of garden peas such as Alaska, Little Marvel, Mr. Big, Early Perfection, Sabre, etc. The average height of garden peas is 1 m.
Sugar Peas − Sugar peas do not have the tough membrane inside the pod wall and have tender edible pods. Snow peas and snap peas both are the types of sugar peas.
Field Peas − Field pea is one of the oldest domesticated crops. They come in multiple colors such as blue, white, maple, and brown. It is a climbing species with weak, viny, and relatively succulent stems. The vines can be about 1.5 m long.
The pea crop thrives best in cool season.
About 10 °C is the best soil temperature for sowing. The approximate temperature range most suitable for plants growth is 13–18 °C.
The cooler, high-altitude tropical areas are most suitable for this crop.
These crops cannot grow and flourish in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates. High temperatures cause more harm to pea crops than frost.
High humidity in rainy and cloudy weather also causes the spread of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and damping-off.
We grow peas in a variety of soils.
Although we grow peas in a variety of soils, the ideal type of soil for peas is well-drained loamy soil with a low level of salinity.
The ideal pH range for best results is 6.5–7.5.
Soils with high levels of organic matter improve the yield and quality of peas.
It should be ploughed to properly clear the stubbles and previous crop residues.
Powdery seedbeds should be avoided to ensure good drainage and aeration of the field.
The root nodules of pea root systems contain symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobia. These bacteria can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Broadcasting Method of Plantation
Broadcasting is a popular and commonly used method for pea plantation.
For early varieties, the recommended distance that should be maintained is 30 x 5 cm, whereas for late varieties it is 50 x 10 cm.
The seed should be sown at a depth of 3 cm under the soil. For better germination, proper soil moisture should be maintained at the time of plantation.
Irrigation is recommended at the time of sowing if the soil moisture is not enough. It is a rain-fed crop and does not require much irrigation. It can manage well in drought conditions. Irrigation at the time of flowering and pod formation improves yield as well as quality.
It is necessary that the pea crops are free from any time of weed, especially for the first 40–50 days after sowing, for best yield.
Since pea plantation is done in closely spaced rows, it is difficult to control weed using mechanical methods. In many places weeding is done by hands. Chemical treatments such as propazine, atrazine and simazine etc. are also used for controlling weed.
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In general, the harvesting of green pea pods should be done just before they reach complete maturity.
The harvesting time for early varieties is about 40–60 days; for mid-season crops it is about 75 days, and for late-season crops it is about 100 days.
Multiple pickling is usually done in a given period of time. Within a period of 2– 10 days there could be 4–5 pickling depending on the yield.
The yield and quality depend on seed variety and crop management practices. During harvesting, the pea pods are picked by hands. The best way is to use two hands, hold the vine with one hand, and pull the pods with the other hand.
Regular harvest helps more pods to develop. Freshly harvested peas have the best flavour. As the plants mature, they stop producing and the plant dies back when the weather becomes hot.
Nutrition and Uses
Peas are part of many cuisines around the world.
Fresh peas are widely used in pot pies, casseroles, and salads.
Peas are also eaten by boiling and steaming them.
Boiling and steaming breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and nutrients more bioavailable. In India, peas are used in many curries.
Pea milk is also extracted which is used as an alternative to cow milk.
Sprouts or shoots of peas are also used in stir fries in East Asia.
The nutritional content of 100 g of green peas in given in the table below −
|Dietary Fiber||5.1 g|
|Vitamin C||40 mg|
Fresh peas have a short shelf-life; hence, they are frozen to preserve. For freezing, the most tender peas are selected. The first step of the freezing process involves–firstly, placing the peas in ice water to cool them. After that, they are sprayed with water to remove residual dirt. Then the peas are blanched in hot water. The final step is freezing the peas.
Q1. What is amount of sugar present in 100 grams of green peas?
a) 2.45 g
b) 3.19 g
c) 5.67 g
d) 7.23 g
Q2. What is the correct botanical name of pea?
a) Cicer arietinum
b) Macrotyloma uniflorum
c) Phaseolus vulgaris
d) Pisum sativum
Q3. Snap peas is a variety of which of the following types of peas?
a) Garden pea
b) Sugar pea
c) Field pea
d) Early perfection pea
Q4. Which of the following is the ideal temperature range of optimal pea plant growth?
a) 2–8 °C.
b) 6– 12 °C.
c) 13– 18 °C.
d) 20– 32 °C.
Q5. Which of the following is the correct botanical class of pea?
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