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BROAD-LEAVED EVERLASTING-PEA

Lathyrus latifolius

Pea Family [Fabaceae]

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category
category8Deciduous
category
category8Climbers
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8pink
flower
flower8mauve
flower
flower8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8winged

2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An aggressive weed of waste ground and railway embankments, especially prevalent around London.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
It is a far-reaching scrambling perennial up to 3m in length, but not usually in height unless it has something that tall in the immediate vicinity up which to climb. The books say it is bright magenta-pink, but clearly pink and pure white are also within its repertoire.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


8th July 2009, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Here with pink and magenta flowers. The leaves are broad and have a smaller length/breadth (<4:1) ratio than those of Narrow-Leaved Everlasting-Pea (>4:1).


28th June 2011, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Here in totally white flowers. The stems are zig-zagged at every branch and have two wide flanges (usually called 'wings' although there is a possibility of confusion with the wings of pea-type flowers) terminated by branched tendrils.


28th June 2011, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Each flower on an upward slightly drooping stalk.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
At 15-30mm the flowers slightly larger than those of Narrow-Leaved Everlasting-Pea at 12-20mm, and there are between 3 and 12 flowers in a head as opposed to a slightly lower 3-8 in Narrow-Leaved Everlasting-Pea.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Un-opened flower buds bear a passing resemblance to those of Foxglove.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have the usual pea-type structure with large banner, two wings and two keels (which are hidden within the wings).


27th July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Here bright magenta flowers.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Feint darker veins are visible in the banner.


8th July 2009, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The sepal is brownish, hemispheric, with five green triangular teeth.


8th July 2009, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers on this specimen seem to be as bright a red-magenta colour and as few in number as those expected on Fifield Pea aka Tuberous Pea (Lathyrus tuberosus) but it cannot be that because Fifield Pea has wingless stems. Perhaps this is an escaped cultivar, but then, Broad-leaved Everlasting-Pea is too~


8th July 2009, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves broad, stems with two flat wings. There are a pair of opposite leaves/bracts at each branch in the winged stem that are concave pointed rather than convex-pointed of the broad leaves.


8th July 2009, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


8th July 2009, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Branched tendrils at the end of each branch.


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Tendrils in opposite pairs terminating with three at the end.


28th June 2011, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The tendrils curl around other stems (here wrenched away so that you can better make them out).


2nd July 2011, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The winged stems.


28th June 2011, Ainsdale Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Pointed leaf-like bracts at each branching.


14th July 2010, Hillside Dunes, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Pods brown and at 5 - 10cm are longer than those of Narrow-Leaved Everlasting-Pea at 4 - 7cm.


Not to be semantically confused with : Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) or Mountain Everlasting (Antennaria dioica) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Easily mis-identified as : Narrow-Leaved Everlasting-Pea (Lathyrus sylvestris) but that has narrow leaves that are >4 long as wide, slightly smaller flowers and with slightly fewer flowers in a flowering head, and the flowers are dull pinkish-purple rather than bright magenta (other books say they are yellowish-green or greenish-pink with tinges of violet and/or blue).

The winged stems automatically exclude about half of the possible Pea-type plants that this flower could be. The second is the number of flowers per stem, which is usually fairly high. The length to width ratio of the leaves which is less than four excludes Narrow-Leaved Everlasting-Pea (Lathyrus sylvestris).

It is a naturalised garden escape which likes growing on railway banks, hedges, waste ground and on roadsides, although here it likes covering less-mobile inland sand dunes.


  Lathyrus latifolius  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pea family8Fabaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Lathyrus
Lathyrus
(Peas)

BROAD-LEAVED EVERLASTING-PEA

Lathyrus latifolius

Pea Family [Fabaceae]