Fruit and Vegetables

Peas in the vines


Question: smell peas between the vines?


In addition to beauty and perfume, do pea flowers also have practical utility in agriculture, or viticulture? (I've seen several of them in rows of vines in Tuscany today).

Peas among the vines: Answer: a pea in the vineyard


Dear Claudio,
those you may have seen are the flowers of cicerchia, lathyrus latifolius; it is a close relative of the sweet pea, perennial with a rhizomatous root, widespread throughout Italy; this variety of pea has vigorous growth, and typical purple flowers. It develops in sunny places, even uncultivated ones, and often also along the roads. In particular, this pea grows in the vineyards, along the rows, where it also finds a good anchorage due to its twisting stems, equipped with tendrils, which tend to stretch a lot. These plants have always developed in the same climatic area as vine cultivation; only that, until a few years ago, there was a tendency to brutally weed all the herbs close to the vines, to prevent them from robbing the vineyard of water and mineral salts. With the ever-increasing development of cultivation forms that are more respectful of nature, such as organic or biodynamic cultivation, today we are witnessing the presence of vineyards where herbicides are not used; indeed, the plants that typically live alongside the vine are left undisturbed, or at most mown. This to maintain a high biodiversity in the vineyard, which passing through the plants, reaches the insects that typically populate them, in an attempt to balance the population of harmful insects and useful insects.
In addition to this, the cicerchione is a fabacea (once known as legumes); as they taught us in elementary school, legumes live in symbiosis with bacteria that are able to synthesize nitrogen from the air, and make it bioavailable in the soil: real centers for synthesizing nitrogen fertilizers; clear that the presence of legumes in the vineyard is to be safeguarded, to improve the life of the vines.