This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Lathyrus Tuberosus. Tuberous Lathyrus, or Pease Earth-Nut.
Stylus planus, supra villosus, superne latior. Cal. laciniae superiores 2 breviores.
LATHYRUS tuberosus pedunculis multifloris, cirrhis diphyllis: foliolis ovalibus, internodiis nudis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 663.
LATHYRUS arvensis repens tuberosus. Bauh. Pin. 344.
LATHYRUS arvensis sive terrae glandes. Pease Earth-Nuts. Parkins. Theat. p. 1061.
Grows spontaneously in various parts of France and Germany; Mr. Philip Hurlock lately shewed me some dried specimens of this plant, which he gathered in the corn fields, on the Luneburgh Heide, in Upper Lusatia, where it grew plentifully, and afforded a pleasing appearance to the curious traveller: - not so to the husbandman, to whom it is as noxious as the Convolvulus arvensis (small Bindweed) is with us, and equally difficult to extirpate, having powerfully creeping roots, which somewhat like the Helianthus tuberosus (commonly called Jerusalem Artichoke) produce large tubera, and which like those of that plant, are in high esteem with some as an article of food, and as such even cultivated abroad.
It flowers from June to the end of August. It is certainly a beautiful hardy perennial, similar to (but of more humble growth) than the everlasting pea, yet must be cautiously introduced on account of its creeping roots, by which it is most readily propagated, rarely ripening its seeds with us.
It is, perhaps, better suited to decorate the uncliped hedge of the pleasure-ground, than the border of the flower-garden.