Category: Fabaceae

  • Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)


    Sometimes called Perennial Sweet Pea. These weedy vines cover hillsides in residential neighborhoods, often where they had been planted generations before. Once you have Everlasting Peas, you have them forever. But is that such a bad thing?

    From Gray’s Manual of Botany: L. latifolius L. (EVERLASTING or PERENNIAL PEA.) Tall perennial with broadly winged stems; leaves and stipules coriaceous and veiny; petioles mostly winged; the 2 elliptic to lanceolate leaflets 0.5-1 dm. long; peduncles stiff, many-flowered; flowers showy, pink, purple, or white. Frequently cultivated, and escaping to roadsides and thickets, Ct. to D. C. (Introd. from Eu.)

    (This was from the 1908 edition. The 1890 edition does not list Lathyrus latifolius, suggesting that it had not yet become established as a frequent escape.)

  • Crown Vetch (Securigera varia)


    Wherever there are hillsides that no one wants to mow, there is crown vetch. Its cheerful vigor means that it often escapes and invades a hillside on its own, but its happy clover-like pink flower heads make us willing to forgive its bad manners.

  • White Clover (Trifolium repens)


    You see it everywhere, but do you ever stop to look at it close up? This is your chance. Take a moment to contemplate the beauty of white clover in an ordinary lawn.

  • Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)


    The bright, pure yellow of these ubiquitous roadside flowers is hard to equal. Close up, the perfect little pea flowers reveal contrasting red stripes.