Earth Pea

Lathyrus tuberosus         Perennial     Zone 5-6earth pea seed 2013 1000 by 750The Earth Pea, or Aardaker, which means “earth nut” in Dutch, is a perennial vegetable closely related to the perennial sweet-pea flower. It produces small tubers (1″-2″) which can be harvested in the fall or spring. The sweet tubers require a couple of seasons to reach a suitable size for harvest. They have a long history as a food plant and are still cultivated today in Europe. They should be grown on a short trellis (3′-4″). I would also recommend planting them in an area where they can spread or be contained, as the roots spread fairly aggressively. The plant is attractive and has small, purple-blue flowers, as well as inedible seed pods. The flavor is described as similar to a sweet chestnut. A nitrogen-fixing legume. The seeds need scarified ( lightly rub an opening in the seed coating using sandpaper) and soaked 24 hours before planting.

Earth Pea in bloom

Earth Pea in bloom

4 foot trellis

4 foot trellis

Earth Pea seed and pods

Earth Pea seed and pods

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