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Lathyrus vernus

Spring vetchling

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour

Mixed

Feature

Flowers

Hardiness

Hardy

Skill level

Beginner

photo by bbc.co.uk/gardening

Plant details

A low-growing, bushy plant with long, narrow leaves and purple pea flowers, more like a decorative vetch. The flowers are produced in clusters at the tips of wiry stems set against the foliage. Grow plants in a rich but well-drained border, between later flowering plants that will spread to fill the gap left by the lathyrus when it dies down soon after flowering, in late midsummer. Alternatively, grow on a bank among low ground-covering plants. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Fabaceae/Papilionaceae

Genus: Lathyrus

Species: vernus

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Mixed

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 45cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: September to November


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