A charming spring pea to invite into your garden!
The Lathyrus genus belongs to the Fabaceae or pea family and has some 150 species. Lathyrus vernus is native to the dry meadows, thickets and light understory on chalky rock in continental Europe, from France to the Caucasus, and from the north of Turkey as far as eastern Siberia.
This species, also known as spring vetch or vetchling, has delicate spring flowers, which make it an outstanding perennial. Although the ornamental qualities of Lathyrus vernus earned it an Award of Garden Merit in 1993, it is only rarely seen in nurseries and gardens.
Sometimes pink, sometimes blue, its slender spring flowers are really marvellous. The whole plant forms a dense clump about 30 centimetres in height.
Lathyrus vernus is slow growing, but long-lived and likes light, well-drained soil. In the sun or partial shade, under a shrub or planted in a rockery, spring vetch needs little as it produces it own nitrogen through a symbiotic process with bacteria living in its roots.
Grow in light shade or sun (not scorching) in ordinary, even poor, light, well-drained soil, slightly acid to alkaline. Good resistance to temporary drought.
And another thing... Make sure the plant's collet is kept properly drained in winter to prevent rotting. Avoid heavy, damp soils.
Although Lathyrus vernus continues to grow after flowering, its growth period is mainly in the spring, which means it avoids competition from the roots of deciduous shrubs in winter.
Maintenance: prune the dried flower stems at the end of winter. May re-seed. Non-invasive.
Flora of Germany, Austria and Switzerland - 1885,
Gera, German. Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé
Source: Wikipedia - www.biolib.de
- 12cm pot or 9,5cm pot
- Hardiness zones : zone 7-10
- Height: 30 to 50cm
- Plant spacing: 40 cm
- Flower colour: purple
- Flowering period: spring flowers