Lathyrus latifolius, or Everlasting Pea, is a most beautiful, large, diffuse perennial, producing a long succession of large light-purple or pink flowers, in clusters of eight or ten each. The plant is suitable for the shrubbery, arbors, or for training to a trellis. When supported, it attains the height of six feet. "It attaches and supports itself, like all scandent plants, by means of the branching tendrils terminating its single pair of broad leaflets, and which twining, economical processes are, in fact, reasoning from strict analogy, the abortive rudiments of other sets of leaves, though never developed."
A variety has white flowers. It may be propagated by dividing the roots, or more extensively by sowing the seeds, which ought to be planted where the plant is to stand, as it sends down a tap root to a great depth.
Young plants will flower, the second year, feebly, but the third or fourth year they produce a profusion of foliage and flowers. Some botanists have suggested that it might be applied to agricultural purposes with profit, on account of its yielding so great a quantity of fodder and seed.
Lathyrus grandiflorus. - Great-flowered Everlasting Pea. - The flowers are very large, rose-colored, and appear two or three together; the foliage and stems light and elegant. Not in common cultivation.