Herb: Yellow-Flowered Pea

Latin name: Lathyrus aphaca

Family: Leguminosae

Medicinal use of Yellow-Flowered Pea:

The ripe seeds are said to be narcotic. The flowers are resolvent.

Description of the plant:


90 cm
(2 feet)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry places on sand, gravel and chalk.

Edible parts of Yellow-Flowered Pea:

Seed - cooked. Only use when immature, the fully ripe seed can be narcotic in large quantities. The seed is harmless and nutritious when eaten in small quantities. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, then it can also be sown in situ in mid spring. In nature, most of the seed germinates in the autumn but many of the seedlings do not manage to survive the winter.

Cultivation of Yellow-Flowered Pea:

Dry places on sand, gravel and chalk.

Known hazards of Lathyrus aphaca:

The seed contains a toxic amino-acid which, in large quantities, can cause a very serious disease of the nervous system known as 'lathyrism'. The seed is said to be perfectly safe and very nutritious in small quantities.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.