Bitter-vetch

Lathyrus linifolius var montanus | Also known as: Sweet pea | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Lathyrus linifolius var montanus or bitter-vetch is a hardy plant that grows in woodlands and hedges. It grows wild across much of Europe. It has narrow green leaves that grow in pairs along the stalk. The flowers are a bright purple and pink colour, with two petals, similar in shape to a snapdragon, with a curved lower 'lip'. It's an easy plant to grow. It will grow in moist and well-drained soil and prefers a neutral or acid soil. The seeds can be cooked in the same way as you would treat sweet chestnuts, and the root is also edible. You can serve it boiled or roasted. It has a sweet flavour and it's highly nutritious. It will grow in partial shade but prefers the sun.

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Plant
Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating seeds, or risk having mild stomach upset.
Height [m]
  • 1.5 - 2
Spread [m]
  • 2
Dominant flower colour
  • Purple
Flower Fragrance
  • Yes, let it smell
Flowering seasons
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
Foliage in summer
  • Grey-green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Grey-green
Propagation methods
  • seed
Growth habit
  • Climbing
Environment
Acidity
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z6-9
Heat zone
  • H9-6
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -23 - -1
Heat days
  • 45 - 150
Moisture
  • well-drained
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Exposure
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Usage
Standard category
  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Perennials
Grown for
  • Attractive Flowers
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • Fast growing
  • Fine fragrants
  • For Beginners
  • Colours
  • Show-offs
  • For birds & bees
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
Garden spaces
  • Cut flowers
  • Banks and slopes
  • Walls, trellises and pergolas
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • 1 to 2 years