Lathyrus, Sweet Pea 'Cupani'

Lathyrus odoratus

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-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

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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 is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Berkeley, California

Richmond, California

San Leandro, California

Fort Myers, Florida

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Thompsons Station, Tennessee

Cedar Creek, Texas

Kalama, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 28, 2016, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

The fragrance of Cupani is the reason I continue to grow it yearly. I save my own seeds and have found them to come true the next season. The history of this sweet pea dates to 1699 in Italy, another good reason to keep it in cultivation. Also adore the bicolor combination.


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 8a) 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.