Sweet Pea 'Cupani'

Lathyrus odoratus

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)



Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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!


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


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.