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Lathyrus Species, Earth-Nut Pea, Tuberous Pea, Tuberous Vetchling

Lathyrus tuberosus

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lathyrus (LAY-thy-russ) (Info)
Species: tuberosus (too-ber-OH-sus) (Info)


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 1: below -45.6 C (-55 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Fuchsia (red-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cincinnati, Ohio

Smokerun, Pennsylvania

Winters, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 16, 2015, SteveOh from Cherry Grove, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Planted inside of an 18" deep, plastic, barrier, to control the spread of the plants. Soil was lightly amended heavy clay. Four seeds produced enough fibrous roots to fill a 5 gallon bucket and a handful of tubers (approx 30) ranging in size from 3" x 1" to about 0.5" x 0.25".

Tubers survived a very wet (4' snowfall) and very cold winter (several sub 0f days) and roots were already showing fresh growth when dug (3 days after the snow melted).

Tubers grow perpendicular to the thick roots and are sparse, but occasionally several tubers will form along a length of root.

Seed pods (appear like mini pea pods with 3-4 "peas") are fragile when dry and will "pop" dispersing seeds several inches away from the parent plant.

Quite invas... read more


On Feb 18, 2009, scirpidiella from Pińczw,
Poland (Zone 6b) wrote:

Seeds of Lathyrus species are very toxic, when they are often consumed and in large quantities. Lathyrus tuberosus tubers were eaten in Europe. These tubers were sold at a market in Nancy under the name "marcusone". I have never read about toxicity of Lathyrus tuberosus tubers. I tasted cooked tubers. These roots are the best I have ever ate.