sweet pea

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sweet pea,

annual climbing plant (Lathyrus odoratus) of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family), a legume native to S Europe but, since its introduction to horticulture c.1700, widely cultivated for its fragrant flowers. There are three main types: dwarf, summer flowering (garden sweet peas), and winter flowering (florists' sweet peas). As cut flowers, sweet peas are one of the more important of florists' plants and are available in a wide range of shades. The vines climb by tendrils and require support. The sweet pea is also a honey plant and the source of an essential oil used in perfumery, although today this oil is more often made synthetically. The green peapea,
hardy, annual, climbing leguminous plant (Pisum sativum) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), grown for food by humans at least since the early Bronze Age; no longer known in the wild form.
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 and chickpeachickpea,
annual plant (Cicer arietinum) of the family Leguminosae (pulse family), cultivated since antiquity for the somewhat pealike seeds, which are often used as food and forage, principally in India and the Spanish-speaking countries.
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 are related but of separate genera. The term pea is sometimes used generally for a seed in the pod of any leguminous plant. Sweet peas are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sweet Pea


(Lathyrus odoratus), an annual grassy plant of the genus Lathyrus, family Leguminae. It grows wild in southern Italy and on the island of Sicily. The sweet pea has long been cultivated as a decorative plant. The stems are delicate and weak, reaching a.height of 0.5-2 m; the leaves have a pair of leaflets and an axis, ending in a tendril that attaches to supporting objects. The tendril is branched. The blossoms are large and aromatic and grow in clusters. The magenta corolla grows up to 3.5 cm in diameter; cultivated varieties may reach up to 5-6 cm and have varying coloration. Sweet peas are used in gardens and parks; to decorate walls, enclosures, and balconies; and as cut flowers.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

sweet pea

a climbing leguminous plant, Lathyrus odoratus, of S Europe, widely cultivated for its butterfly-shaped fragrant flowers of delicate pastel colours
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
I don't like growing sweet peas in the same spot each year but some people have no choice.
The beetles are also attracted to yellow flowers, so consider growing a 'sacrifice plant' such as a hypericum with large, bright yellow flowers, next to the sweet peas.
While autumn and early winter is usually the time for selecting seeds for planting next spring, sweet peas are the exception because those planted now will produce the best quality flowers.
The magnificent displays of sweet peas at flower shows are all produced on cordons, but most of us are perfectly happy to grow our sweet peas naturally with just the provision of canes and netting.
This was the start of a great leap in breeding sweet peas as in 1899 Prima Donna produced a variant with wavy petals.
UNWINS Seeds are well-known for their sweet peas, with which they are celebrating in more ways than one.
This quirk of the sweet pea allows the hybridist to select parents and make his own crosses in his own garden.
As well as the grand launch of the "Margaret" sweet peas at famous flower show, which opens on May 20, Frank, will also be remembered with a special display organised by the British European Geranium Society, in Bulkington village hall on May 24 and in the National Sweet Pea Society's fundraising event for research into children's illnesses, at Lapworth House at Lapworth, on July 5 and 6.
Few garden plants stir the senses like sweet peas. Sniff a billowy bunch, and you expect a delightful, spicy-sweet scent to greet you.
`Knee-hi' is another dwarf sweet pea, and as the name suggests, they are knee high.
If you haven't already done so you should be out in the garden preparing runner bean and sweet pea trenches and getting ready the onion bed.
Rauni found her inspiration in Erddig's romantic association with the sweet pea, a flower which has long been cultivated in the beautiful gardens that surround the early 18th century country house.