sweet pea


sweet pea


: a climbing plant with flowers that have a sweet smell

Full Definition of SWEET PEA

:  a widely cultivated Italian legume (Lathyrus odoratus) having slender usually climbing stems, ovate leaves, and large fragrant flowers
:  the flower of a sweet pea

First Known Use of SWEET PEA


sweet pea

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus)—Sven Samelius

Annual plant (Lathyrus odoratus) of the pea family (see legume), native to Italy and widely cultivated elsewhere for its beautiful, fragrant flowers. The long (4–6 ft, or 1.2–2 m), vinelike stem climbs by means of tendrils and bears featherlike leaves. White, pink, red, violet, or purple flowers, reminiscent of butterflies in shape, are borne singly or in clusters of two to four. The fruit is a hairy pod about 2 in. (5 cm) long. Hundreds of varieties of sweet pea have been developed. The plant was the subject of important genetics experiments by Reginald Crundall Punnett and William Bateson.


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