Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea

Lathyrus latifolius

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lathyrus (LAY-thy-russ) (Info)
Species: latifolius (lat-ee-FOH-lee-us) (Info)


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Magenta (Pink-Purple)


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

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

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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



Jones, Alabama

Bisbee, Arizona

Amesti, California

Big Sur, California

Canoga Park, California

Elk Grove, California

San Francisco, California

Susanville, California

Denver, Colorado

Keystone Heights, Florida

Cornelia, Georgia

Washington, Illinois

Bloomfield, Iowa

Woden, Iowa

Iola, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Marion, Massachusetts

Milton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Erie, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

New Madrid, Missouri

Stover, Missouri

Reno, Nevada

Moultonborough, New Hampshire

Morristown, New Jersey

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Little Falls, New York

Staten Island, New York

Victor, New York

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Lima, Ohio

Brookings, Oregon

Chiloquin, Oregon

West Linn, Oregon

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Arlington, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Plano, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Ogden, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Roanoke, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Tacoma, Washington (2 reports)

Belleville, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 8, 2015, JDBusybee from Belleville, WI wrote:

A tough little vine. It has been cut down in the early stages of growth at least 4 times in 6 years and has survived (dormant after the injury) in HZ 5a/b in -18 F winters to come up again this year. In all those years in a raised bed with good amended soil it has neither spread nor become a nuisance. Perhaps our forbidding climate keeps it in check. It has never reached the size others have previously described. However a local garden center has one mature vine (decades old) they treat as a shrub and it is fantastic. Sadly, it has no sweetpea scent.


On Sep 24, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species is pretty, tough, and long-blooming in full sun---blooming drops off quickly with shade. Flower color ranges from pure white through shades of pink to magenta/fuchsia.

The roots are ropy and deep, and digging revealed no fibrous roots at a depth to which I could dig. I have failed in transplanting it. Perhaps that's just as well.

It doesn't spread underground, but it can self-sow, aggressively in some climates. It is a long-lived herbaceous perennial, dying to the ground in the fall, and it climbs by means of tendrils at the ends of the leaves. It's no small plant, and I'd space it at least 18-24" apart, if I weren't afraid to let it in the garden.

It is naturalized in 46 states and 4 provinces. It is often considered a weed, but n... read more


On Sep 22, 2014, vidor from Hillsdale ON
Canada wrote:

Grows well in Hillsdale Ontario (about 120 km north of Toronto.) Pretty blooms but in the wrong place since there was nothing to climb. I dug it out and discovered a long tap root. Since I've read that it is invasive I may not re-plant it near a trellis but wait for another to appear unbidden, just like the first two.


On Apr 20, 2012, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

It has staid alive through the big drought of 2011 but did not perform. It is alive , Matter of fact, very alive this year. I never watered it and it was REALLY dry, but shady. It still has not bloomed. It was sent to me on a trade. After reading this, I guess I will be pulling it. I am glad it did not bloom, but I am a bit interested. I need another invasive like I need a hole in my head. How about that for a mixed message.


On Jul 4, 2011, Jnnyrey from Little Falls, NY wrote:

We buy distressed property and fix them up meticulously. The latest home had a "yard" three feet tall with trash and weeds... and three feet tall walls of sweet pea along a falling fence. The flowers are nearly neon pink and look delicate and pretty however they must be very Hardy to survive three years of vacancy, neglect, and even a fire. Hubby weedwhacked and pulled them out to put in his precious heavens gate coreopsis, but already I see them spring up through the stone wall. I'm glad, as they provide some privacy along the fence and I just keep pulling out the ones I don't want and leaving the fence climbers. PS they will climb anything they can grab. Invasive but can be useful and pretty.


On Sep 29, 2008, Calaveras from Kittanning, PA wrote:

HELP ME KILL THIS PLANT! I desperately need your advice. It has taken over a full acre of woodland in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and is spreading at perhaps 1000 square feet per year. This is at 2800' elevation, with no rain between April and November, on a slope with a low water table, daily temperatures regularly reaching 100F, and full to partial sun. In a few years it will consume the entire property. Burning is risky in this habitat in the season when the plants are exposed. Is there an herbicide that would be effective? It's way past trowel work. Please reply before an air tanker is required. Thanks!


On Jul 22, 2008, crockny from Kerhonkson, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grew it up the fence because of the flowers but found I hated the look of the foliage -- reminded me of a bunch of praying mantises ... gone now ...


On May 22, 2008, girlndocs from Tacoma, WA wrote:

This sweet pea grows in the neighborhood and established itself in a crack in the sidewalk by our front porch.

I let it grow -- even mowing around it when I cut the grass. I don't think I've ever deadheaded it and I only collected seeds once when they happened to be ripe as I walked by. Nevertheless it's only made about 5 "babies" in 7 years. Each year it would grow to cover about 4' square feet in a loose tumbling mass before frost nipped it back.

The only places I've seen it really take over are abandoned spots in alleys and so forth.

It sure is tough, though. This year a lawn service both mowed and power-edged right where it was springing up and I thought it was the end, but two weeks later it was back. Now I've moved it to a wire fence in t... read more


On May 31, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea Lathyrus latifolius is Naturalized in Texas.


On Jul 31, 2006, dpmichael from Rethymno, Crete
Greece (Zone 10b) wrote:

for a vine that needs not to be aromatic and will develop quickly without much assistance, it has beautiful curves of leaf form and tentacles and produces colourful flower clusters for a long time. If a plant is successful, it is quite common to find it aggressive as well, the two qualities go hand-in-hand. So, if you manage to contain it or control it, it will serve you very well.


On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

If kept deadheaded, these sweet peas will bloom almost all summer. It is prone to powdery mildew, so may need cutting back if it gets to looking bad. It is great for hiding a fence or providing privacy. Put it where you want it, because it is hard to get rid of! My information says it is hardy in zones 3-11. Soaking aids germination of seeds. Blooms June - September in my garden.


On Jun 25, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

We grow it here in Florida during late fall and winter when temperatures are cooler.


On Jun 18, 2005, cj5404az from Bisbee, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love the pink color of the blossoms I have. They are a beautiful plant, but definitely can be invasive, even in the very hot and dry southwest. The big problem I had this Spring, though, was mites infested the whole plant right near the middle of it's blooming time and I had to wack the whole plant down. Was very disappointed I didn't get to see the blooms for very long. I also wish they had a scent- how can something so pretty not smell sweet?!


On Sep 12, 2004, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

Nice to have climbing sweet-pea-like flowers on a regular basis, but there are probably better choices in most situations for this level of floriferousness.


On May 18, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very invasive. Seeds come down the hill from the neighbor's yard and I am fighting a loosing battle.


On Oct 6, 2003, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I planted two of these, from 3" pots, three seasons ago (in 2000.) I have gotten very few - if any - flowers on the plants; they only grow up so far and then stop, never getting to the top of a five-foot trellis.

The white vine didn't show up well at all again a white trellis and the pink vine bloomed for the first time this year, but not until October 3rd. I'm getting rid of mine and hopefully the next gardener will have better luck than I.


On Aug 4, 2003, Emuru from Victor, NY wrote:

Lathyrus latifolius is a lovely wild plant which may not always be best for growing in the cultivated garden, since it can spread so easily. To be on the safe side you might want to naturalize it. We have ours growing at the end of our driveway, spilling over the edge of the ditch by the side of the road. When it gets too big we just shear it back, before it begins to set seed. Looks very pretty growing with single orange daylilies, Hemerocallis fulva, which bloom at the same time (mid-July in western New York State (U.S.)


On May 28, 2003, trickyricky wrote:

I have a ton of everlasting pea seeds and really love the flowers, ands would like to start some in potting soil or loam.


On Aug 25, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns.
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

Yes, they can be invasive but they can also fill a need, as does this tall one on the side of a house focusing the eye on the flowers and not the utility boxes. Simply plucking the seed pods when there is just a single plant can keep it in control. They die back to the ground each winter.


On Aug 18, 2002, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant does not need moist soil to be invasive! I planted the vining form 5 years ago to climb an arbor as a "temporary" solution while I decided what permament vine I wanted. I have been pulling "babies" ever since!


On Aug 17, 2002, elsie from Lafayette, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

Even though I love the way this plant blooms until frost, it's terribly invasive. This year it took over my garden and several of my perennials did not come up.


On Aug 5, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

A long flowering delicate looking vine with blue-green sword shaped leaves and many clusters of 1 inch pea flowers along the stems that are showy but unscented. They bloom from summer until frost.Dies back to rootstock in the winter.
Good cut flower; rambling, climbing vines can be used to cover unsightly spots. Roots are long lived and tenacious. Self sows prolificly, invasive.

Prefers rich, well drained soil.