Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

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
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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8 positives
7 neutrals
6 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

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

This species is naturalized in 46 states and 4 provinces. It is often considered a weed, but nowhere has it been declared ecologically invasive of wild areas. I mostly see it on highway verges where it's been planted and spread.

It is pretty, tough, and long-blooming in full sun. I too fear to let it in the garden.

Neutral vidor 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.

Neutral marasri 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.

Neutral Jnnyrey 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.

Negative Calaveras 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!

Negative crockny 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 ...

Positive girlndocs 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 the back of my garden that hides my compost piles.

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

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

Positive dpmichael 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.

Positive Gabrielle 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.

Positive Kameha 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.

Positive cj5404az 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?!

Neutral cinemike 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.

Negative Kelli 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.

Negative debi_z 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.

Positive Emuru 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.)

Neutral trickyricky 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.

Positive darius 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.

Negative Karenn 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!

Negative elsie 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.

Neutral mystic 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.


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)

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