Description: Climbing annual or perennial herbs; stems sometimes winged.
Leaves paripinnate, terminal leaflet modified to a tendril or bristle, venation longitudinal; stipules entire or rarely toothed.
Inflorescences axillary, racemes or flowers solitary; bracts narrow, often caducous; bracteoles absent. Calyx campanulate. Standard broad, ± longer than wings or keel; wings sometimes joined to the keel; keel apex usually obtuse. Stamens diadelphous; anthers uniform. Ovary ± sessile or stipitate, ovules 2–many; style inflexed, compressed, pubescent on upper side; stigma terminal or capitate.
Pod compressed, upper suture often 2-winged, usually dehiscent; seeds ± globose, arillate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 130 species, southern temperate regions. Australia: 5 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.
The Sweet Pea, L. odorarus L., is commonly cultivated as an ornamental.
Text by C. Gardner
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stems less than 60 cm long, not winged; flowers solitary or rarely paired||Lathyrus angulatus|
|Stems 60–300 cm long, distinctly winged; flowers in racemes of 1–15 flowers||2|
|2||Racemes with 1–3 flowers; flowers deep pink or deep purple; seeds smooth||Lathyrus tingitanus|
|Racemes with 3–15 flowers; flowers dark purple to white; seeds wrinkled|
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