Sweet Pea, an annual plant grown for its fragrant, colorful blossoms. It is native to Italy and has been cultivated for almost 300 years. Hundreds of varieties have been developed. The sweet pea is a climbing vine that can grow up to six feet (1.8 m) long, but there are bush varieties that grow from less than one foot (30 cm) to about two feet (60 cm). The blossoms may be of various colors, including red, white, pink, and purple. From one to seven flowers, each up to two inches (5 cm) wide, are borne on a stem.
Sweet peas are popular as garden plants and are also grown commercially for use as cut flowers. In areas where winters are mild, seeds can be planted in late fall; elsewhere they are planted in early spring. Sweet peas grow best in rich, deep soil that is kept fairly moist. They do not grow well in very hot weather.
The sweet pea is Lathyrus odoratus of the pea family, Leguminosae.