Sweet Peas / Lathyrus odoratus

sweetairwarden (300x286)Lathyrus odoratus ‘Air Warden’ – The eye-catching cherry red blooms of this cultivar are held on strong stems and make excellent cut flowers. It was introduced back in 1942 by Thomas Cullen and the blooms are intensely fragrant. These climbing annuals can be grown as temporary summer screens on lath fencing or free-standing obelisks. Grows 6-8′ high. Annual.

sweethighscent (300x293)Lathyrus odoratus ‘High Scent’ (syn. ‘King’s High Scent’, ‘Hi-Scent’) – This modern grandiflora Sweet Pea bears white to pale creamy-yellow blooms lightly accented with a violet picotee – flowering from June to August. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and considered one of the best for fragrance. Soak seeds for 24 hours before the March to April direct sow. 6′ high.

sweetbluevelvet (299x300)Lathyrus odoratus ‘Blue Velvet’ – The deep violet-blue ruffled flowers are produced with 4-5 blooms per sturdy stem, making good cut flowers. This 1972 introduction is also lightly fragrant and blooms from June to August, preferring slightly alkaline soil (add a little lime). Prepare your planting hole the previous fall by double-digging with some compost. Grows 6-8′ high. Annual.

sweetamerica (296x300)Lathyrus odoratus ‘America’ – Despite the name, this is an English heirloom Sweet Pea that was first introduced back in 1896. The blooms are white with carmine-red streaking and they have a sweet fragrance with a hint of fruit. Sweet Peas benefit from a mulch to protect the roots, and they should be well-watered during periods of dry weather. Grows to 6′ high. Annual.

sweetbeaujolais (300x290)Lathyrus odoratus ‘Beaujolais’ – This Spencer Sweet Pea is a beautiful deep burgundy colour, and can almost appear black at times. The large blooms are lightly fragrant with ruffled petals and work well in flower arrangements. Consider pinching your Sweet Peas when they are about 8″ high to encourage more bushy plants. Grows 6-7′ high. Annual.

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