Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Indian Pea, Blue Sweetpea, Chickling Pea, Grass Pea
Lathyrus sativus

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lathyrus (LAY-thy-russ) (Info)
Species: sativus (sa-TEE-vus) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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Thumbnail #1 of Lathyrus sativus by poppysue

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No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Baa On Aug 25, 2002, Baa wrote:

An annual climber whose native land is unknown but can be found in Europe, Asia, North Africa and parts of South America.

Has oval, pointed, mid-green leaflets divided into pairs. Bears single, small, blue, pea like flowers often veined in pink. The flowers turn white as they age.

Flowers June-August

Loves a well-drained, fertile soil in sun or light shade. A good if somewhat small flowered plant to scramble through an informal border.

Sometimes used as an animal fodder, green manure and in homeopathic medicine.

While the pea can be eaten it's most heartily not recommended as it need specific preparation. Animals and people eating this pea are subject to Lathyrism which is a paralysing disease.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California (2 reports)
Barbourville, Kentucky
Kalama, Washington

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