Perennial sweet pea Lathyrus latifolius, photographed by Franz Xaver.

Belongs within: Fabales.

Lathyrus, the sweet peas, is a genus of climbing or sprawling legumes with its greatest diversity in Northern Hemisphere temperate regions, particularly around the Mediterranean. Some species, such as the grass pea Lathyrus sativus, are grown for food. Others, such as the perennial pea L. latifolius, are grown as garden plants for their flowers.

Characters (from Asmussen & Liston 1998): Leaflets unijugate; style with adaxial hairs; the phytoalexin pisatin produced.

    |--L. aphaca PT98
    |--L. cicera LR-S01
    |--L. clymenum LR-S01
    |--L. hirsutus H91
    |--L. latifolius H91
    |--L. magellanicus D03
    |--L. maritimus D03 [=Pisum maritimum C55]
    |--L. nissolia H91
    |--L. ochrus LR-S01
    |--L. pratensis LNB03
    |--L. sativus LR-S01
    |--L. sphaericus H91
    `--L. tingitanus LR-S01

*Type species of generic name indicated


Asmussen, C. B., & A. Liston. 1998. Chloroplast DNA characters, phylogeny, and classification of Lathyrus (Fabaceae). American Journal of Botany 85 (3): 387-401.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896-1899, vol. 8—Botany (W. B. Scott, ed.) pp. 1-34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[H91] Hubálek, Z. 1991. Biogeographic indication of natural foci of tick-borne infections. In Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 1 pp. 255-260. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[LNB03] Ledeganck, P., I. Nijs & L. Beyens. 2003. Plant functional group diversity promotes soil protist diversity. Protist 154 (2): 239-249.

[LR-S01] Liu, A., & T. J. Ridsdill-Smith. 2001. Comparison of feeding damage by redlegged earth mite Halotydeus destructor (Tucker) (Acari: Penthaleidae) to different grain legume species as an indicator of potentially resistant lines. In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 295-299. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: Flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95-116.

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