Sweet Pea


1 entry found.
Sweet Pea
Common Name: Sweet Pea
Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus (la-THY-rus od-or-AH-tus)
Decorative Life: 3-8 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Treat with an anti-ethylene product, as the positive results can be dramatic. The sooner after harvest the treatment can be applied, the better the results. Recut stems under water and place in STS followed by a fresh flower food solution. MCP can be applied during the flower food hydration step. Continuous flower food treatment after an anti-ethylene treatment results in the best vaselife, about 8 days.
  • Generally has weak and short stems. Treatment with sugar is critical as a 10% solution can greatly reduce ethylene production and increase vaselife. Continuous sugar treatment is better than pulse treatments.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae (pea family) having common relatives such as clover, beans, brooms, redbud, pea, lupine, catalpa, wisteria and acacia.
  • Native of Italy.
Personality:
  • Flowers are 1 inch across with wing and banner petals, 5-7 flowers per stem.
  • Stems are leafless, wiry, 16-20 inches long.
  • Plant is a climbing annual, classed as a dicotyledon, however there are non-climbing forms.
  • Flowers have a sweet scent.
Availability: Spring to summer.
Flower Color: White, pink, purple, lavender.
Storage Specifics: Store 36-41F in water, 32-34F dry for up to 5 days.
Tidbits:
  • Lathyrus is the classic Greek name for the pea, "odoratus" means scented. Lathyrus also from Greek "la" (very) and "thoures" (a stimulant), because the seeds were said to have excitant or irritant properties.
  • One of relatively few plant species that can transform nitrogen from the atmosphere into a nitrogen form that plants can use as a fertilizer.
  • Old time flower that has again gained popularity.
Recent Findings: Ichimura (1998) showed that both flower food and anti-ethylene treatments greatly extend vaselife and improve flower color. Han (2000) reports that the germicide Physan should not be used with this species as it can damage the petals and reduce vaselife.