Family • Fabaceae / Leguminosae - Pisum sativum Linn. - GARDEN PEA - Wan dou

Scientific names

Pisum sativum Linn.
Pisum arvense Linn.
Pisum humile Boiss. & Noe

Common names

Sitsaro (Tag.)
Common pea (Engl.)
Garden pea (Engl.)
Sweet pea (Engl.)
Wan dou (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Basella.
CZECH: Hrách setý.
DANNISH: Ært, Ærter.
DUTCH: Erwt, Erwten.
ESTONIAN: Harilik hernes.
GERMAN: Erbse, Erbsen.
HEBREW: Afun tarbuti.
HINDI: Matar.
ITALIAN: Pisello, Piselli.
JAPANESE: Piisu, Endo.
KOREAN: Wandu.
PORTUGUESE: Ervilha, Ervilhas.
RUSSIAN: Goroch, Rороцх.
SLOVAKIAN: Hrach siaty.
SPANISH: Alverja, Arveja, Guisantes, Pesol.
SWEDISH: Ärt, Ärta.

Sitsaro is an annual climber with compound leaves terminated by branched tendrils. Stems are hollow. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, with auricled stipules. Stipules are conspicuous, larger than the leaflets and with indentations on the lower part. Leaflets are obovate, entire, 2 to 4 centimeters long. Peduncles are 1- to 2-flowered. Inflorescences occur at the leaf axils. Flowers are white, pink or purple, developing into inflated pods. Pods are straight or curved, 5 to 10 centimeters long, containing 6 to 9 seeds. Ripe seeds are round, smooth, or wrinkled.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Pisum sativum / Plants For A Future

(2) Cytotoxic Activity of Seclected Leguminosae Species Against CaSKI Cells / Maizatul Azma A L, Nurhayati Z A, Norhanom A W / 21st Annual Seminar of the Malaysian Natural Product Society

(3) Study on Amino Acid Content in Selected Varieties of Pisum sativum (peas) by Ion Exchange Chromatography / Ranjani Amarakoon / 2012 International Conference on Nutrition and Food Sciences IPCBEE vol. 39 (2012)

(4) Pisum Sativum Extract for Safe- and Self-tanning / Isabelle Imbert, PhD; Anne Francoise Clay; Joel Mantelin and Nouha Domlege, PhD / Cosmetcis and Toiletries

(5) Sorting Pisum names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(6) Pisum sativum / Common names / EOL: Encyclopedia of Life

(7) Pisum Sativum / Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh

Peas have hypogeal germination: the cotyledons remain enclosed within the seed coat beneath the soil surface. Flowers are white, developing into inflated pods.

– Grows well in Baguio and at lower elevations during cool months.
– Chinese variety adapted to warmer climates.
– Cultivated for its young pods and mature seeds.

Gen info
Sitsaro (Pisum sativum) is the most expensive vegetable legume in the Philippines. There are several types: garden peas, English peas, or green peas (P. sativum var. sativum); field peas or soup peas (P. sativum var. ravense); and flat, edible-podded snow peas known as mangeout peas, sugar peas, or Chinese peas (P. sativum var macrocarpon).

Garden peas are grown for their green peas, field peas for their dried seeds. In the Philippines, the snow pea, with its flat pod, is the most commonly grown. The group also includes snap pea,with its thick, full-bodied, round, edible pods, and sweet, full-sized peas, with the pods snapping when bent like fresh green beans. (7)

– Seeds yield trypsin and chymotrypsin.
– 100 grams of edible portion of fresh sweet pea pods contain: 67 kcalories, water 82.4 g, protein 3 g, fat 0.4 g, carbohydrate 12.8 g, dietary fiber 2.1g, ash 1.4 g, calcium 92 mg, phosphorus 48 mg, iron 1.2 mg, vitamin A 52.0 µg, thiamin 0.16 mg, riboflavin 0.09 mg, niacin 1.0 mg, ascorbic acid 67.0mg. (The Philippine Food Composition Tables, 1997. (Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology/FNRI-DOST)
– Green and ripe fruits and seeds yield starch, albuminoids, an oil, galactolipids, alkaloids, trigonelline, and pilartine, essential oil, and soluble carbohydrates. Leaf, petiole, tendril, and stems yielded kaempferol-3-triglucoside, quercetin-3-triglucoside, and their p-coumaric esters. Germinating pea seedlings yield high concentration of D-alanine. Free homoserine has bee detected in the seeds and pods.

– Sweetish and tasty vegetable.
– Seed considered contraceptive, ecbolic, fungistatic, spermicidal.
– Seeds reported to cause dysentery if eaten raw.

Sitsaro4Parts used
Seeds, oil.

Edibility / Nutritional
– Seeds and leaves are edible.
– Mature seeds are rich in protein.
– Roasted seed used as coffee substitute.
– Leaves and young shoots used as pot herb.
– Young shoots used in salads.

– Poultice prepared from dried and powdered seeds use for acne and other skin complaints.
– Flour considered emollient and resolvent, applied as cataplasm.
– Seed oil, taken monthly, believed to prevent pregnancy.

Study Findings
• Anticancer: Study evaluated aqueous and methanol extracts of four Leguminosae species–Pisum sativum, Phaesolus vulgaris, Vigna sinensis, and Sesbania grandiflora–for cytotoxic potential against a cervical cancer cell line, CaSki. The methanol extract of Pisum sativum was active against CaSki cells with IC50 value of 14.8. Results suggest Leguminosae species may possess potential anticancer properties.
• Amino Acid Content: Study evaluated the amino acid content of selected varieties of P. sativum. Most of all essential amino acid profile of total seed proteins compared favorably with FAP/WHO requirements except for phenylalanine. Pisum sativum grown in Central Europe are rich in lycine, leucine and arginine and can fulfill the essential amino acid content of human diet.
• Dermatologic Benefits / Photoprotective / Self-Tanning / Increase Melanin Production: Pisum sativum extract provides a new approach as a safe tanning active, increasing the skin’s melanin production, and preparing the skin for a healthy tan. The extract reduces inflammatory mediators produced during sunburn. Botanical and eco-friendly, it presents a potential for use in skin care, sun care, and self-tanning preparations.