Why are the seeds of this species difficult? Seeds harvested in the wild may have physical dormancy, which can be overcome by scarifying the seed coat to allow water uptake and encourage germination.
Pisum sativum germinating (Image: E. Vaes, RBG Kew)
This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.
Germinate on agar, germination paper or sand at 20ºC.
Seeds from cultivated varieties of this species do not display dormancy. However seeds harvested from plants growing in the wild may be Physically Dormant. It may be necessary to chip the seed coat with a scalpel before placing under germination conditions, in order to overcome dormancy. Alternatively, carry out percussion before sowing, by shaking the seeds in a glass bottle to crack the seed coat.
The pods (4-15 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm) are swollen or compressed, straight or curved, containing 2-10 seeds. The pods each have 2 valves containing a parchment-like endocarp, and are dehiscent along both sutures. The seeds are spherical or angled, smooth or wrinkled, without nutritive tissue.
The seeds are green, grey or brown at maturity, sometimes with mottled pattern.
See images of this species at the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants.
Accepted name: Pisum sativum L.
Synonyms: Pisum arvense L.
Common name: pea
References and Links
- Baskin, C.C. and Baskin J.M. (1998). Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, USA.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
- International Seed Testing Association (2010). International Rules for Seed Testing: edition 2010. ISTA, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.
- Purseglove, J.W. (1968). Tropical Crops: dicotyledons. Longman Group Ltd., UK.
- Rao, N.K., Hanson, J., Dulloo, M.E., Ghosh, K., Nowell, D. and Larinde, M. (2006). Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy.
- AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Pisum sativum.
- PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Pisum sativum.
- SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Pisum sativum.
- Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Pisum sativum.