This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Lathyrus Sativus. Blue-Flowered Lathyrus, or Chichling-Vetch.
Stylus planus, supra villosus, superne latior. Calycis laciniae superiores 2 breviores.
LATHYRUS sativus pedunculis unifloris, cirrhis diphyllis tetraphyllisque, leguminibus ovatis compressis dorso bimarginatis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 662.
LATHYRUS sativus, flore fructusque albo. Bauh. Pin. 343.
A native of France, Spain, and Italy, and distinguishable when in flower by the blue colour of its blossoms, which are sometimes, however, milk-white; but its seed-pods afford a more certain mark of distinction, being unusually short, broad, and winged on the back.
This species grows to the height of about two feet, and is usually sown in the spring with other annuals; though not so beautiful, it forms a contrast to the sweet and Tangier Pea, and may be introduced where there is plenty of room, or a desire of possessing and knowing most of the plants of a genus.
It flowers in June and July.
Cultivated 1739, by Mr. Philip Miller. Ait. Hort. Kew.