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Weed Identification

perennial pea

Family

Fabaceae

Scientific Name

Lathyrus latifolius

Other Common Names:

broad-leaved everlasting pea
everlasting pea
everlasting peavine
perennial peavine
perennial sweetpea
sweetpea

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Lathyrus latifolius var. splendens

Habit

A vine that grows from 5-6 feet tall, blooms from June to August, and climbs or crawls on the ground with twining tendrils.

Leaves

Leaves are arranged opposite and are flat to slightly folded, blue-green in color, 4-8 in by 1- 1 1/2 in, and have an apical tendril. Stems and leaf petioles have thin, leafy wings. Leaves lack hairs.

Identifying Characteristics

The large, showy flowers and the opposite pair of leaflets with a terminal tendril easily identify this plant from others.

Flower Seed Head

Flowers are pink, purple, or white, 1 inch long, large, and bloom from mid-summer to fall. They are arranged in loose clusters at the end of a long flower stalk.

Seed Fruit

Fruit is a pitted, white achene that is reddish brown to dark brown, broadly ellipsoid, and 1.2-1.5 mm by 0.7-0.8 mm long. Seeds ripen from August to October.

Where Found

Fields, roadsides, waste places, meadows, woodlands, sunny edges, dappled shades, shady edges, and ground covers.

Growth Habit

Varies: 
upright and nonwoody
vine

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

Varies: 
dime
nickle
quarter

Dominant Flower Color

Varies: 
white
purple
red
pink

Flower Symmetry

bilateral symmetry

Leaf Hairs

no hairs

Leaf Shape

lance

Leaf Arrangement

opposite

Leaf Margin

entire

Leaf Structure

simple

Leaf Stalk

shorter than leaf

Stem Hairs

no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure

Varies: 
fibrous
taproot

Life Cycle

perennial

Ochrea

not present

Plant Type

Herb