Aug. 1, 2022

pea, Pisum sativum

Wild peas? Certainly when man first met peas they were both pretty wild. The oldest archeological evidence of man and peas together takes us back to prehistory around the Mediterranean. History records our appreciation and separation of garden and field peas from more than four millenia ago. Here in Michigan, the earliest record of wild peas may be from 1895. That one is a specimen sheet with two species, garden pea and beach pea. The inclusion of beach pea, which is native, gives us a hint about the staus of the garden pea. There are five collections included in Michigan Flora, none of which have clear information about their status as wild plants. So, wild or not? Do we care? I didn't worry about it when I dumped a whole package of peas into yesterday's stew. According to USDA, peas have gone wild in AL, CA, CT, FL, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NY, OK, OR, PA, SC, UT, VA, WA, MB, ON, QC, and on GL. Beal Garden MSU, 6/23/14. Bean family, Fabaceae.