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|Peas are contained within a pod.|
|Pea plant: Pisum sativum|
The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Botanically, pea pods are fruit, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.
P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool-season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 gram. The immature peas (and in snow peas the tender pod as well) are used as a vegetable, fresh, frozen or canned; varieties of the species typically called field peas are grown to produce dry peas like the split pea shelled from a matured pod. These are the basis of pease porridge and pea soup, staples of medieval cuisine; in Europe, consuming fresh immature green peas was an innovation of early modern cuisine.
green pea (plural green peas)
- Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see green, pea.
- (astronomy) Ellipsis of green pea galaxy