From The Plant Encyclopedia
2 - 20
- Cultivation: Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow, For-Gardeners
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium, Well-Drained
- Form: Vine, Herbaceous
- Habit: Annual
- Flower: Medium, Pink, Purple, White
- Fruit/Seed: Medium, Seed, Green
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Ornamental
Lathyrus () is a Genus of Flowering plant species known as sweet peas and vetchlings. Lathyrus is in the Legume family Fabaceae and contains approximately 160 species. They are native to Temperate areas, with a breakdown of 52 species in Europe, 30 species in North America, 78 in Asia, 24 in tropical East Africa, and 24 in temperate South America.
Popular Cultivated Species
Garden Sweet Pea Lathyrus odoratus
Everlasting Perennial Pea Lathyrus latifolius
There are annual and perennial species which may be climbing or bushy. This genus has numerous sections, including Orobus, which was once a separate genus.
The genus includes the garden Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) and the perennial Everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius). Flowers on these cultivated species may be rose, red, maroon, pink, white, yellow, purple or blue and some are bicolored; they are also fragrant, which makes them a very popular garden plant. Cultivated species are susceptible to Fungal infections including downy and powdery Mildew. Lathyrus species are used as food plants by the Larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Chi, Latticed Heath (both recorded on Meadow Vetchling) and Chionodes braunella.