A choice relative of the better known Lathyrus latifolius, the Persian Everlasting Pea is a hardy climbing perennial of moderate growth. The plant thrives in full sun and is drought resistant when established.
Uncommon in the wild, but recorded from northern Iran, northern Iraq, Turkey and the Crimea.
- name : Lathyrus rotundifolius von Willdenow 1802
- common name : Persian Everlasting Pea
- section : Lathyrus
- type : deciduous perennial herb
- habit : climbing
- distribution : the Middle East and the Crimean Mountains
- flowers : brick red to pink
- legume : 70mm, light brown
- seed : speckled, ovoid
- seedcount : approximately 19 seeds per gram
Seed is slow to germinate, and considerable patience is needed to achieve a high germination rate. Abraiding the seed coat, or soaking the seed in hot water immediately prior to sowing may help.
A situation in full sun with some support to climb suits Lathyrus rotundifolius; it can reach 8 feet tall under favourable conditions. Once established it is perfectly hardy with the added advantage of being drought resistant. The attractive but scentless flowers vary from pink through to brick red and are freely produced through June and July. Plants will flower in the first year from seed if sown early.
Lathyrus rotundifolius is deciduous and the top growth tends to die off early in a manner which looks terminal, but this does not mean that the plant is dead. The fresh shoots at or below ground level tend to be reddish in colour and very hard to see against brown soil. Just remove the dead top growth and leave the root undisturbed. Lathyrus rotundifolius is a lot tougher than it looks, and plants soon build up into a substantial clump.
Seed & Legume
Seed of Lathyrus rotundifolius is available from Owl's Acre Sweet Peas