Lathyrus vernus

spring vetchling

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

A little-known legume for the garden, Lathyrus vernus fills in the early flowering season and is extremely durable. The typicaly pea-like, purple flowers are wonderful in the early spring grown with hellebores of all sorts and pulmonarias. Lathyrus vernus 'Albo-roseus' is a rare but sometimes available cotton-candy-pink form that is equally lovely. Ferny foliage lasts through the whole growing season and adds to the texture of the woodland garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: mounding perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Flower Color: purple

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: occasional water during dry weather

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: gold, variegated

Great Color Partners: purple, pink, silver

Culture Notes
Culture couldn’t be easier than with this pea relative. It will grow best in well-drained or sandy soils with full sun to light or open shade. Once established it only needs occasional watering during dry weather. In fall cut it to the ground once it starts looking tattered.