The Q&A Archives: Tough Sweet Pea

Question: We're looking for a hearty variety of sweetpea flowers that are drought tolerent and will grow a mile high in the mountains of Southern California. It is a vacation home, so they need to be virtually maintenence free. We've seen large patches 4-8 feet tall, but no one knows exactly which variety they are.

Answer: You're probably looking for Lathyrus latifolius, the perennial sweet pea. It's a strong growing vine (up to 9 feet), with blue-green foliage. The flowers are ususally reddish purple, white or rose. It has a long bloom season (June - September) if the seed pods are kept picked off. It is a carefree plant that often becomes naturalized. Seeds are available from:

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