Flower Glossary

Flower Glossary: Sweet Pea

by Maxwell Tielman


Name: Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

Growing details: Sweet Pea seeds should be planted in late fall (October-November) in order to bloom in the spring. For those living in areas with particularly harsh winters, wait until late winter or early spring (when the ground is no longer frozen) to plant sweet pea seeds. Sweet peas grow best in areas with full sun exposure and soil that is on the alkaline side.

Varieties: As of 1900, there were roughly 300 varieties of Sweet Pea. Today, that number is exponentially higher!

Cost: Sweet pea seeds are widely available and usually very affordable, sold from around $2-5 a package.

Photograph by Maxwell Tielman.

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  • When I was a child in Miami the local super market always had very colorful bouquets of mixed sweet pea flowers for sale in season. It’s a memory of shopping with my mother when I was very young. They were also fragrant!

  • I have had sweet peas in my Garden since I first saw them at my Godmother’s 60 years ago…they are the darlings of the garden with fragrance to match…a bunch is super heavy for a day in the house…next to them is a grand bunch of old fashion violets….maybe forgot by the new generation but not mine…