Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Everlasting Sweet Pea, Perennial Sweet Pea, Spring Pea, Spring Vetchling, Spring Vetch, Spring Bitte
Lathyrus vernus

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lathyrus (LAY-thy-russ) (Info)
Species: vernus (VER-nus) (Info)

Synonym:Orobus vernus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 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)
Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Shartin On Mar 29, 2011, Shartin from Sharon, CT wrote:

Please tell me how to grow the spring vetchling from seed - I only have 5 so need to know if I can sow now April 1, in n my NW CT garden or should start it from seed indoors????

Positive plantaholic186 On Aug 9, 2008, plantaholic186 from Winnetka, IL wrote:

I must say, I must have the best L. vernus plants on the earth. They self seed and bloom in the second year. I have divided and transplanted them in the heat of August, and they don't even flag or drop leaves. My soil is predominantly clay, which means the top 5" or so dries up quickly, while below that the water might not drain for several days, and still the Lathyrus thrives! Next year I'll collect seeds and offer them here, since these plants are difficult to find in these parts.
Even though it blooms for only a couple of weeks, and is otherwise not spectacular, it is well worth trying.

Further comments: my Lathyrus is thriving in dry shade, wet shade, and full sun in wet and dry.

Warnings: It is a very prolific self-seeder, and the seedlings are deep rooted and require a trowel to remove. Also, the rabbit that got stuck in my garden seemed to prefer them to other plants.

Still, one of my favorite perennials.

Neutral emilybee On Jul 29, 2008, emilybee from Los Osos, CA wrote:

A couple years back I planted what I thought were annual sweet peas but they have never died so I assume they're perennial. They have also never bloomed. Do perennial sweet peas take some time to get established before blooming or should they bloom the first year? I have them in containers which hasn't hindered their growth but could that be why they haven't bloomed?

Positive altagardener On May 14, 2008, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

Lovely early spring bloomer, and hardy here in zone 3 (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

Neutral ntelya On Apr 24, 2008, ntelya from Lakeville, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Have attempted to grow twice - unsuccessfully. Didn't make it though the winters both times. Although it is frequently sold in this zone (4), not regularly hardy here.

Positive SW_gardener On Mar 25, 2006, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

I bought this last summer and it was only a few leaves. A few of the leaves dired up due to dry soil, but it's sprouting up now and from what I can tell from the tiny's coming back well. I look forward to seeing it bloom!

Positive nevadagdn On Mar 24, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This little plant is a charmer.

Positive Todd_Boland On Dec 9, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

What a great plant in mid-late spring. This little pea forms a bush to about 12-15" and is smothered in pink flowers. It does have a tendency to self-seed, so I promtly dead-head after the blooms have faded. It sprouts as soon as the snow melts but seems to be able to cope with spring frosts. I grow it in the rock garden, but in the wild, it often grows in lightly shaded woodlands, so could be used in such a location. Easy from seed but resents transplanting once established.


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

Baywood-los Osos, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Waukegan, Illinois
Winnetka, Illinois
Davenport, Iowa
Lakeville, Massachusetts
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sparks, Nevada
Suffern, New York
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Georgetown, Texas
Fishersville, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Olympia, Washington

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