Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae (legumes), native to the eastern Mediterranean region from Sicily east to Crete.
It is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1-2 m where suitable support is available. The leaves are pinnate with two leaflets and a terminal tendril, this twining round supporting plants to help it climb. The flowers are purple, 2-3.5 cm broad, in the wild plant, larger and very variable in colour in the many cultivars. Unlike most peas, the seeds of the sweet pea are poisonous as they contain a neurotoxin, and should not be eaten.
Sweet peas have been cultivated since the 17th century and a vast number of cultivars are commercially available. They are often grown by gardeners for their bright colours and the sweet fragrance that gives them their name.
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