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Garden Pea

The genus Pisum is a member of the family Papilionaceae tribe Viciae and is composed of two species, P. sativum L. and P.Julvum Sibth. and Sm. After a significant amount o f study and discussion Pisum sativum has been further di­ vided to include several subspecies, P.s. ssp. sativum, P.s. ssp. elatius, P.s. ssp. humile, P.s. ssp. a n ’ense, and P.s. ssp. hortense. The literature indicates that ssp. elatius and ssp. humile are the progenitors of the garden pea P.s. ssp. sativum (Zohary and Hopf 1973). Pisum s. ssp. arvense, includes the field pea and the ‘Austrian’ winter pea, both possessing colored flowers and variously pigmented seeds. Subspecies hortense, the garden pea, is harvested at the suc­ culent immature stage and consumed fresh or preserved through canning or freezing.