Beach Pea is a common plant of sandy beaches and dunes. It is a sprawling plant with compound leaves. The flowers that grow in loose clusters are pea like and purple. The fruits lend this plant its name because they look like small dark pea-pods.
Lathyrus is from the Greek word thouros meaning "something exciting" from the belief that the seeds had medicinal value. The shelled peas and young green pea pods are edible. Take caution with the pea family as the plants absorb selenium from the soil causing toxicity.