Lentil was one of the first pulses cultivated by man. It is one of the eight neolithic founder crops, which were plant species that were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent region by early farming communities.
Basic information and facts
Lentils are grown throughout the world. Important producers are Canada, India, Turkey, USA, Australia, Ethiopia, China, Syria, Iran and Bangladesh.
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
Flowers are self-pollinated and can be white, lilac or pale blue.
Lentils have compound leaves wit 4 to 7 pairs of leaflets and a tendril at the tips.
The seeds grow in pods, usually there are two seeds in each pod. The seeds are lens-shaped. Seeds can have different colors (yellow, red-orange, green, brown, black).
Lentil is a small bushy plant, about 40 centimeters tall. It belongs to the legume family.
Climate and weather:
Grows in a wide range of climates but prefers a cool environment. Lentils are often grown in semi-arid regions as they are quite tolerant to dry conditions.
Mainly through self-pollination.
Type of soil:
Grows on a variety of soils (light loams, alluvial soils, black cotton soils, etc.).
Lentils are quite tolerant to drought, which means they can be grown in climates that are too dry for other pulses.
Spacing (close range)
150 plants per square meter
Spacing (wide range)
120 plants per square meter
Propagated by seed.
Lentils can be harvested by hand pulling the plants. They are then piled in the field for drying. When dry they go for threshing to separate seeds from the pods. Then the threshed material is winnowed to separate the seeds from straw and other plant material.
In large scale production the harvest is often mechanized.
Lentils are eaten as a vegetable. The dried seeds are cooked to make soups or stews.
Proverbs and Quotes
- Laugh at the rice and you will weep for the lentil.
- If you eat someone’s cake, you must also eat his lentils.
- Whether it rains or stops raining, the lentils have two eyes.
- Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Bible quote)
Did you know that?
- Lentil was one of the earliest crops grown by man.
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