The attractive spring pea can be seen in the Woodland Garden.
Many gardeners are familiar with the climbing annual Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea) cultivars which adorn our gardens in midsummer with their fragrant blooms, but this is just one of 150 species of annuals and perennials. The perennial species are often overlooked, though provide as much interest as their more widely known relative. L. vernus, or spring pea, is one such species, bringing colour and interest to the spring garden. A native of temperate Asia and Europe it produces one-sided racemes of purple-blue pea-like flowers from compact clumps of glossy, divided foliage. It prefers a moist, partly shaded situation and is a valuable companion for early woodland species.