The sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is an annual climbing ornamental garden plant in the legume family (Fabaceae) that is native to Italy and the Aegean region.
It is similar in appearance to its pea like relatives, but it is toxic. The sweet pea is best known for its fragrance.
The Sweet Pea in History and Folklore
The sweet pea was developed in England from seeds received from Italy by Henry Eckford specifically for the garden trade during the Victorian era.
In the language of flowers, the sweet pea means “farewell and thank you for a lovely time”.
Growing Sweet Peas
Sweet peas are easy to grow in a sunny spot provided they don’t get too hot. They like to climb and look nice dressing up a fence.
Don’t try to eat these like peas. They are not edible and are moderately toxic.
The sweet pea isn’t a very ancient plant, so it doesn’t have a lot of magical history behind it. However, its fragrance and airy nature correspond to the air element and its fragrance is said to inspire loyalty and affection.