Pea Facts

Pea Facts
Pea is a plant that belongs to the group of legumes. Exact origin of pea is unknown (researchers assume that pea is native to Italy, China, Malta or Sri Lanka). Fossil evidences indicate that people consumed peas even during the Bronze Age. Pea is still one of the most important plants in human diet. There are hundreds varieties of pea that are mostly cultivated in cooler climate, on a well drained and fertile soil. Pea is susceptible to viral, bacterial and fungal infections, which may decrease the harvest of the plant significantly.
Interesting Pea Facts:
Pea is fragile plant that can grow as low-ground plant or as a vine. Pea (which grows like a vine) develops snake-like tendrils which support the plant by attaching to the surrounding structures and objects. Pea can grow 6 feet in height.
Pea has compound leaves that consist of two or more leaflets. They are alternately arranged on the stem.
Pea has white or pink flowers. They contain both male (stamen) and female (pistil) reproductive organs which mature at the same time. Pea is capable for self-pollination.
Peapod is edible part of the plant. Seeds (peas) are green, smooth and hidden in a pod that is usually 5 to 6 inches long. Harvest of pea usually takes place 60 to 70 days after planting.
Some types of pea have edible pod. Majority of pea species have inedible pod that needs to be removed before consumption.
Pea quickly loses its sweet taste after the harvest. That is why pea should be consumed quickly after removal from the pods.
Until the 16th century, people were eating only dry pea. Fresh and raw pea became popular in the modern Europe.
The most popular varieties of pea are snow pea, snap pea and sugar pea.
Pea is excellent source of dietary fibers, proteins, vitamins C, B3, B9 and beta-carotene and minerals such as zinc and iron.
Gregor Mendel is a father of modern genetics. He discovered basic laws of inheritance in the 19th century by planting and cross-breeding peas of different color, size and type of seed.
Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer, wrote a famous novel "The Princess and the Pea", describing a girl that can sense pea even through several layers of mattresses.
Pea is an integral part of French and Asian cuisine for at least 1000 years. Pea can be consumed raw (in the form of salads) or cooked in the form of soups, curries, omelettes, porridges and casseroles.
Scent of sweet pea is used in the perfume industry. Flowers of sweet pea are used in the manufacture of soaps and lotions.
Starch extracted from the pea can be used for the manufacture of bioplastics (biodegradable and eco-friendly type of plastics).
Pea is an annual plant, which means that it ends its life cycle after one year.

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