We want to hear from you! Please take this short, anonymous survey to help us improve the DG home page.

Sweet Pea 'Matucana'

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: Matucana



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)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

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:

Redwood City, California

Clifton, Colorado

Kalama, Washington

Madison, Wisconsin

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 14, 2008, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Of the three sweet peas I've tried so far this was my favorite. The fragrance is intense and heavenly. The bicolored blooms are beautiful. And it bloomed earlier and longer than the Spencer types (newer hybrids) I grew. Seems to have better heat tolerance. I had so many flowers I actually got sick of cutting them :-)

Yes, the flowers are a bit smaller than the newer hybrids. But it's not really a huge difference - maybe 1/8".

Bloomed for me mid-June to mid-September from a late April seeding. (You must deadhead fastidiously to keep blooms coming).


On May 10, 2007, bmuller from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

Sweet peas have been difficult to grow successfully in my garden. However, last year I tried 'Matucana' for the first time (in containers), and it bloomed beautifully for me --from spring through fall. It's definitely a "keeper." I've planted it again this year from seed; though it hasn't yet bloomed, it is looking healthy and promising.


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

According to the SSE catalog, this sweetpea has been "incorrectly cited as the original sweetpea" but it is obviously more modern given its four relatively large flowers on each stem.
The origins are unclear but it somehow naturalized in Peru and/or Ecuador and then sometime later was re-introduced into Europe. Plant is 5-6' tall; bloom is bi-color with maroon-purple standard and purple-blue wings.


On Jul 21, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Matucana' is one of the easiest and most reliable sweet peas. It blooms prolifically for a long time, and it even self-sows in my garden. The fragrance is outstanding.