Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45



An annual growing to c.40 cm/15 in (Lens culinaris); leaves pinnate with 3–8 pairs of oblong leaflets, and terminating in a tendril; pea-flowers white, veined with lilac, borne 1–3 on a long stalk; pods rectangular with 1–2 disc-shaped seeds. It is of unknown origin, but has been cultivated since ancient times as a food plant. Its seeds (lentils) are rich in protein. (Family: Leguminosae.)

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