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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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Encyclopedia Article for beach peasen

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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