Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Some members of the Pea family

The botanical family Fabaceae is commonly called the Pea family, because it contains the edible peas, among many other plants.  Several of the plants of this family are grown for their flowers and several have common names that include "pea."  One example is the Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus).  I have grown a couple of different plants from this family - Purple Hyacinth Vine (Lablab purpureus) and Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis v. minor).

I have also seen some neat plants growing wild over the last year, including the following plants.

Blooms of wild pea plant at Chickasaw Recreation Area near Sulphur, OK.

Blooms of another wild pea plant near Sulphur, OK.

We came across the plants pictured above while walking through a national park in southern Oklahoma.  I don't know the identity of either plant, but I liked them both.  We were actually hoping to see some orchids, but these little flowers were about the only thing we found in bloom.  Ironically, the blooms of the purple pea looked similar to an Encyclia cochleata, with it's squid legs dangling.

Pea blooming on Grand Cayman Island.

The plant pictured above was growing on a beach on Grand Cayman island, about 15 feet from the water.  The blooms of the Fabaceae family are distinctly shaped and the resulting seed pods are unmistakable, as well - the pea pod.

Pea pods on Grand Cayman Island.

If anyone knows the genus or species of any of these plants, please comment.


  1. Was it very bushy and the pods only on the top?

  2. Kathleen- Yes, the one on Grand Cayman was very bushy with the pods on top.