Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Pea
Lathyrus odoratus 'Cupani'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lathyrus (LAY-thy-russ) (Info)
Species: odoratus (oh-dor-AY-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Cupani
Additional cultivar information: (aka Cupani's Original)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
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:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By poppysue
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There are a total of 9 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lzyjo On Feb 22, 2010, lzyjo from Thompsons Station, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Had a good experience with Cupani last year. I found they held up well in the Tennessee heat, flowering for 6-8 weeks, before giving up by the 4th of July. Will try planting earlier this year. Originally from Sicily. Good heat tolerance. Classic sweet pea fragrance. A small bouquet will scent a room.

Positive SW_gardener On Jun 25, 2009, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

We grew this for the first time this year and yesterday it opened it's first bloom and is loaded up with buds! I love the fact that this is THE ORIGINAL NON-HYBRID Sweet Pea. You have got to love heirlooms!

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 5, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This ancient sweetpea is literally the grandaddy of them all, as all other sweetpeas have descended from it. It was grown in Middlesex England in 1699 by a teacher named Dr. Uvedale. He obtained the seeds from a Sicilian monk named Franciscus Cupani, its namesake. Unlike a lot of the odorless moderns, this one has a great strong scent. Annual, 5' tall

Positive girlndocs On Mar 2, 2006, girlndocs from Tacoma, WA wrote:

The original sweet pea, a very old strain. Glowing purple-rose blooms, on the small side compared to more modern sweet peas, but generously produced and very fragrant. A sweet, neat appearance rather than billowy or butterflylike. Very pretty sweet pea.

Germination is excellent and the plants are resilient and just keep on blooming -- although pretty neglected, mine produced successive flushes till late September when I stopped deadheading. Each flush had slightly smaller flowers and shorter stems than the one before.

I don't think I had any success with self-sowing, maybe this year.


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

Richmond, California
San Leandro, California
Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Cedar Creek, Texas
Kalama, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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