Pea, n.; pl. Peas or Pease
1. Bot. A plant, and its fruit, of the genus Pisum, of many varieties, much cultivated for food. It has a papilionaceous flower, and the pericarp is a legume, popularly called a pod.
Note: ☞ When a definite number, more than one, is spoken of, the plural form peas is used; as, the pod contained nine peas; but, in a collective sense, the form pease is preferred; as, a bushel of pease; they had pease at dinner. This distinction is not always preserved, the form peas being used in both senses.
2. A name given, especially in the Southern States, to the seed of several leguminous plants (species of Dolichos, Cicer, Abrus, etc.) esp. those having a scar (hilum) of a different color from the rest of the seed.
Note: ☞ The name pea is given to many leguminous plants more or less closely related to the common pea. See the Phrases, below.
Beach pea Bot., a seashore plant, Lathyrus maritimus.
Black-eyed pea, a West Indian name for Dolichos sphærospermus and its seed.
Butterfly pea, the American plant Clitoria Mariana, having showy blossoms.
Chick pea. See Chick-pea.
Egyptian pea. Same as Chick-pea.
Everlasting pea. See under Everlasting.
Glory pea. See under Glory, n.
Hoary pea, any plant of the genus Tephrosia; goat's rue.
Issue pea, Orris pea. Med. See under Issue, and Orris.
Milk pea. Bot. See under Milk.
Pea berry, a kind of a coffee bean or grain which grows single, and is round or pea-shaped; often used adjectively; as, pea-berry coffee.
Pea bug. Zool. Same as Pea weevil.
Pea coal, a size of coal smaller than nut coal.
Pea crab Zool., any small crab of the genus Pinnotheres, living as a commensal in bivalves; esp., the European species (Pinnotheres pisum) which lives in the common mussel and the cockle.
Pea dove Zool., the American ground dove.
Pea-flower tribe Bot., a suborder (Papilionaceæ) of leguminous plants having blossoms essentially like that of the pea. --G. Bentham.
Pea maggot Zool., the larva of a European moth (Tortrix pisi), which is very destructive to peas.
Pea ore Min., argillaceous oxide of iron, occurring in round grains of a size of a pea; pisolitic ore.
Pea starch, the starch or flour of the common pea, which is sometimes used in adulterating wheat flour, pepper, etc.
Pea tree Bot., the name of several leguminous shrubs of the genus Caragana, natives of Siberia and China.
Pea vine. Bot. (a) Any plant which bears peas. (b) A kind of vetch or tare, common in the United States (Lathyrus Americana, and other similar species).
Pea weevil Zool., a small weevil (Bruchus pisi) which destroys peas by eating out the interior.
Pigeon pea. Bot. See Pigeon pea.
Sweet pea Bot., the annual plant Lathyrus odoratus; also, its many-colored, sweet-scented blossoms.