Lathyrus Linn., Sp.Pl. 729. 1753. Gen.Pl.ed.5.326.1754; Baker in Hook. f.,Fl. Brit. Ind.2:179.1876; Ali in Biologia 11(2):1.1965.
Annual or perennial herb, climbing or straggling, stem frequently winged. Leaf mostly paripinnately compound, rachis ending in a tendril, rarely in a bristle or leaflet, leaflets 2-many or rarely absent, entire; stipules usually large, semisagittate or entire. Inflorescence an axillary raceme or solitary. Calyx regular to irregular. Vexillum mostly broad with a short claw. Wing free or coherent to the keel. Stamens diadelphous 9+1 or monadelphous, vexillary stamen free or connate with the tube, anthers uniform. Ovary subsessile or stipitate, style dorsally compressed, linear to spathulate, pubescent on the upper side, rarely glabrous, stigma terminal or capitate. Fruit compressed, 2-many seeded.
A genus with about 130 species, widely distributed in the northern hemisphere, S. America and Africa.