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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Seed - cooked or sprouted and eaten raw[1]. A very nutritious food[2][3], the seeds can be cooked on their own or added to soups, stews etc[4]. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 5 days[5]. They have a crunchy, fresh flavour[5]. Lentils are more digestible than many legumes[K]. The dried seed can also be ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making bread etc[4], this greatly enhances the value of the protein in the bread. The seed stores better if it is left in its husk[6]. Young seedpods - used fresh or cooked like green beans[7][3][4].

Seedpod

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Lens culinaris.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The seeds are mucilaginous and laxative[8]. They are considered to be useful in the treatment of constipation and other intestinal affections[8]. Made into a paste, they are a useful cleansing application in foul and indolent ulcers[8].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow early April in situ[1]. Some cultivars are probably suitable for sowing outdoors in the autumn, at least in the milder parts of the country[6].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Lens culinaris. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant[K], it prefers a sandy soil in a warm sunny sheltered position[9][10][6]. Another report says that it does best on clay[10]. It produces most seed when grown on poorer soils[10].

Lentils are widely cultivated in warm temperate and tropical zones for their edible and very nutritious seed, there are many named varieties[4]. The plants are much hardier than is commonly supposed and many of these varieties can succeed in Britain, particularly in warm summers. There is at least one, called 'WH2040', that can withstand temperatures as low as -23°c in the seedling stage[6]. 'Chilean' is a low-growing plant that can be grown in the winter in areas where winter vegetables can be grown[4]. 'HarLen' tolerates temperatures down to -10°c and performs very well in gardens[4]. The plants take the same time as peas to mature, so lentils are a potential commercial crop for Britain[11]. Yields of up to 2 tonnes per hectare are possible[6]. The main problem with growing them as a commercial crop is that they are produced by using cheap labour in many countries which makes it very difficult for British farmers to compete on prices. However, this does not preclude their being grown in the garden and allotment.

Lentils are also beneficial to grow as part of a rotation on the farm or garden. They have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby and, if the roots are left in the ground when the seeds are harvested, this will provide a source of nitrogen for the next crop[6].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Lens culinaris. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Lens culinaris.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Lens culinaris
Genus
Lens
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.6 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    9. ? Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
    11. ? Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK. Centre for Agricultural Strategy, Univ. of Reading ISBN 0704909820 (1986-00-00)

    "image:Illustration Lens culinaris0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.