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beach pea

either of two plants of the legume family, Lathyrus japonicus, of seashores of the North Temperate Zone, or L. littoralis, of the temperate western coast of North America, both having oblong leaves and clusters of pealike flowers.
1795-1805, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beach pea
  • Among the plants to be found at the headland are native beach plum, beach pea and red and white shore roses.
  • Salt-spray rose and beach pea form scattered thickets on the back side of the dune.
  • beach pea is a sprawling perennial vine that grows in beach and dune environments.
  • Yucca, prickly pear, and beach pea were incidental within this zone.
Encyclopedia Article for beach pea

(Lathyrus maritimus, sometimes L. japonicus), sprawling perennial plant in the pea family (Fabaceae). It occurs on gravelly and sandy coastal areas throughout the North Temperate Zone. The stem is 30-60 centimetres (1-2 feet) long. The alternate leaves are divided into 6 to 12 leaflets arranged along the leafstalk. The purplish-blue flowers, which appear throughout the summer, are followed by a hairy pod about 3 cm long.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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