The perennial sweet peas Lathyrus vernus, also known as spring vetch, are cool-season plants. Perennial peas prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil.
The perennial sweet pea L. latifolius lacks the fragrance of other sweet peas. The sweet pea L. latifolius can stop erosion and serve as cover for wildlife.
The perennial sweet pea Lathyrus vernus adapts to U.S. hardiness zones 5 to 7. The plants may survive in zone 4 with winter protection. The plants grow as annuals in southern states where heat and humidity prevail.
Gardeners can plant Lathyrus vernus in the spring. Soak the seeds overnight before planting for best results. The plants bloom in the spring and may provide some of the first flowers of the season. Other perennial sweet peas bloom from July to August.
Collect sweet pea seeds when the pods of the plants turn brown. Open the pods and allow the seeds to air-dry.
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- USDA Plant Fact Sheet: Perennial Pea
- University of Vermont Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science: Perennial of the Month -- April 1999: Lathyrus Vernus 'Rose Fairy'
- University of Missouri Extension: Flowering Perennials: Characteristics and Culture -- Sweet Pea, Perennial
- WinterSown: Seed Saving FAQs -- Sweet Pea Lathyrus Odoratus
- Roger Parsons Sweet Peas: Lathyrus Species
- University of Illinois Extension: Hort Answers -- Vine Sweet Pea, Perennial Lathyrus Latifolius