29 Different Types of Sweet Peas Plus Fun Facts

Get to know more about the sweet peas, the garden flowers with eye-catching multicolored varieties and stunning fragrance.
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Sweet pea flowers of different colors.

Sweet peas have 110 species and belong to the pea-flower subfamily of the Fabaceae family. Its scientific name Lathyrus odoratus comes from the Greek words Lathyros and adoratus which means  pea or pulse and fragrant, respectively. Native to Sicily, Cyprus and Italy, the genus was introduced to England in the 17th century after a Sicilian monk sent sweet pea seeds to the country.

It was then cultivated by the Scots horticulturist Henry Eckford and sweet peas became popular in the late Victorian period. The flowers are popular in bouquets, centerpieces and as an essential ingredients to potpourri.

Types

Air Warden

A striking flower, its dark red petals are certain to catch the attention of anyone who comes near it, and its strong stems and fantastic aroma add to its beauty and charm. It blooms heavily, grows up to six feet in height, and it looks fantastic in vases, containers, and window boxes.

America

With petals that are raspberry red with white streaks, the America has a unique sweet, almost fruity fragrance, and its long, airy stems perfectly complement the beautiful blooms. Introduced in the late 1800s, this flower is an English heirloom and is perfect for anyone who loves the colors red and pink.

Apricot Sprite

Like its name implies, these flowers are apricot-salmon in color, and many are bi-colored pink blooms as well. They are stunning and come with an amazing scent, and their long-lasting ability makes them perfect as a cut flower.

Crimson Ripple (Lathyrus odoratus)

With a wonderful fragrance and large wavy petals that are colored in crimson and white, this type of sweet pea grows up to eight feet tall and has long, beautiful stems. It blooms from spring to fall and looks extraordinary in vases and containers. It prefers full sun or partial shade, and it is attractive to butterflies and bees. Deer-resistant, this sweet pea also looks great in borders and even window boxes – anywhere that allows you to show off its colors.

Cupani (Lathyrus odoratus)

Cupani sweet peas

One of the most fragrant varieties of the sweet pea plant, this flower has deep crimson and violet petals and is very heat-tolerant. A self-seeding plant, the Cupani remains in your soil where it grows year after year, and it is a deer-resistant plant as well. Not a lover of too much heat or humidity, this sweet pea blooms from spring to fall and can grow up to eight feet in height. It is attractive to bees and butterflies, and looks beautiful as a border and even in window boxes.

Cupid Pink

A dwarf plant, the Cupid Pink is a bushy plant that blooms massively and grows up to two feet high. Its one-inch, bi-colored petals come in beautiful shades of pink and white, and they are perfect for edgings, containers, vases, and even hanging baskets.

Erewhon (Lathyrus odoratus x belinensis)

With light pink upper petals and beautiful rich blue lower petals, this sweet pea truly stands out, and it makes for a beautiful summer garden, not to mention beautiful vases and containers. Growing up to eight feet high and twelve inches wide, the plant is heavily scented and is therefore a very popular option whether you are planning to keep it inside or outdoors. The flowers bloom from spring to fall, and they are not tolerant of conditions that get too hot or humid.

Fire and Ice (Lathyrus odoratus)

This flower is quite unique, with deep pink and white markings, along with purple blue lower petals, which give it a truly stunning look. Growing up to six feet in height, this plant does best in climates that are dry and cool, and it blooms from spring to fall. Best when planted in full sun or partial shade, the Fire and Ice does best when you apply mulch to the soil to keep its roots nice and moist. It grows in zones 2-11, and you can pinch off the plants once they reach six inches in height in order to keep their growth under control.

Fragrantissima

What makes this flower so unique is its varieties of colors and designs. It includes flowers that are striped, bi-colored, and solid-colored, coming in just about every color you can imagine. They are a vigorous plant with strong stems, and they grows up to six feet tall. They are also one of the most fragrant types of sweet pea flowers, which makes them perfect for containers and vases, not to mention window boxes.

Henry Eckford

With bright orange-red petals that fade to salmon-colored, this is a stunning and eye-catching flower indeed. It is an heirloom sweet pea introduced in the early 1900s, and its vines grow up to eight feet in height. When the afternoon shade arrives, the petals almost glow, and since they contain four blooms per stem, they are an absolutely beautiful plant and a favorite of gardeners.

King’s High Scent

The King’s High Scent is likely the sweetest-scented sweet pea available, and it consists of large petals that are creamy white in color and trimmed in violet. Growing up to six feet tall, the plant is perfect around open windows and porches, and alongside any outdoor sitting area. Their scent is so fantastic that they can scent your entire home, and they also make a spectacular landscape.

Mammoth Mix

In colors that include different shades of salmon, rose, lilac, white, and pink, this type of sweet pea is sturdy and very heat-resistant, and you can even train them on trellises, strings, and nets. They get up to six feet in height and are very fragrant, and whether you place them outside or indoors, their amazing scent is there to please.

Matucana

Matucana sweet peas

These petals are very dark and consist of petals that are deep red at the top and violet on the bottom. Their color is unique, and they have a wonderful fragrance as well, making them perfect for containers and vases. They reach up to six feet high and are a favorite of many gardeners, and they are perfect for nets, trellises, and strings.

Melody Mix

With large flowers, long stems, and a variety of colors, you can find them in many shades of maroon, red, pink, lilac, rose, violet, and lavender. Many of the petals are bi-colored, so the mix is quite stunning. They are extremely fragrant and last a very long time, and they are beautiful when placed in a vase or container.

Miss Willmott

Miss Willmott sweet peas


This sweet pea has a beautiful color of blended orange, apricot, and pink, making it quite striking and eye-catching. They grow up to six feet in height and have only been around since the early 1900s. The Miss Willmott is an heirloom sweet pea and is perfect for containers and vases.

Mrs. Collier

This variety of sweet pea is extremely fragrant and grows three blooms to each stem. They are lime green in the beginning but fade to a clear cream color as they age. An heirloom sweet pea, it has only been around since the early 1900s, and it can grow up to ten feet high. It is free-blooming, and is one of the most popular of all heirloom sweet peas.

Mrs. R. Bolton

With large, ruffled petals that are almond-pink in color, this variety of sweet pea grows to six feet in height and looks spectacular when planted alongside sweet peas that are violet-blue in color. The flowers sit atop sturdy, long stems and look beautiful in vases and containers.

Nimbus

With petals that range from white to deep purple to ink-blue, they boast streaks, picotee edges, and specks of additional color. They grow up to eight feet tall and have a magnificent aroma, making them perfect for vases and containers. Their stems are long and straight, and they are very hardy and vigorous plants.

Noel Sutton

With ruffled petals that come in vivid violet-blue, the Noel Sutton has strong, sturdy stems that grow quite long and a wonderful aroma. Because of these things, the flowers look great in containers and vases.

Old Spice

Old Spice sweet peas

In beautiful colors such as creamy white, violet, pink, and deep purple, among others, this plant has a lot of fragrance and is very tolerant of the heat. If you live in a warm climate or simply want to plant something beautiful in the summer months, the Old Spice is one plant you’ll want to consider.

Oxford and Cambridge

This sweet pea is extremely fragrant and consists of two beautiful heirloom flowers, including the Oxford, which is dark blue, and the Cambridge, which is sky blue in color. It grows up to seven feet in height and makes a striking-looking display regardless of where it is planted.

Perennial Sweet Pea (Lathyrus Latifolius)

Also called the Everlasting Pea, this plant ranges in color from medium pink to almost-white. The flowers span one inch across, and they usually climb on nearby vegetation or ramble along the ground. They are easy to grow, have won several international flower awards, and are a self-seeding type of sweet pea. Butterflies and bees love them, but deer do not, and they look great as groundcover along slopes or banks.

Prima Ballerina

A dwarf sweet pea, these start out a rose-cream color then fade to lavender-white as they age, and their magnificent scent is enough to make anyone want to grow them. They are compact and only grow up to 32 inches tall, and they are both long-lasting and graceful.

Promise (Lathyrus odoratus)

Promise sweet peas

With large eye-catching petals of pink and white, they can grow up to six feet tall and twelve inches wide, and they are both reliable and very showy. Great for arbors and arches, the Promise has long sturdy stems and a wonderful fragrance, making them noticeable wherever you plant them. Contrary to what some people believe, sweet peas are not edible, because they can cause severe discomfort if you eat them. If you pick them, they continue to grow, and if you’re looking for something to go in containers or window boxes, you’ll find these are perfect.

Southbourne (Lathyrus odoratus)

With lovely light pink petals tinged with soft white, these sweet peas are sturdy and very fragrant. They bloom best in climates that are mild and cool, and they can grow up to eight feet in height. Butterflies and bees love them, and they prefer soil that is well-drained and has a medium amount of moisture. They are beautiful both indoors and outdoors, and they bloom from spring to fall.

Spencer Mix (Lathyrus odoratus)

This is one of the most popular and commonly found types of sweet peas, mainly because it comes in colors that include violet, lavender, rose pink, light pink, white, and creamy yellow. They have large petals that truly highlight your summer garden, and they look beautiful in beds and borders, not to mention containers and window boxes. With low to average watering needs and a low-maintenance aspect, the Spencer Mix variety can reach up to six feet high and is very attractive to butterflies and bees.

Strawberry Sundae

These flowers are exceptionally fragrant and come in pastel colors such as pink, white, and a rose bi-colored petal. The combination of the colors is quite exquisite, and it is both heat-resistant and easy to grow. They grow up to six feet tall, and they look beautiful in vases and containers.

Swan Lake

This type of sweet pea has large, pristine white petals on long, sturdy stems, not to mention a wonderful aroma. Vigorous and heavy-blooming, the Swan Lake grows up to six feet tall and is therefore perfect for cutting and placing in containers and vases.

Turquoise Lagoon

In shades of beautiful rose pink that fade to lavender and aqua blue when they age, these flowers are stunning and look exquisite in vases and containers. A hybrid plant, the Turquoise Lagoon grows up to six feet tall and has a wonderful scent, so it is easy to show them off to anyone who comes near them.

Facts about Sweet Pea Flowers

  • Because mice, birds, and other seed-eating pests can be attracted to sweet peas, it is good to use some type of mesh or bird net until after you have seen at least two plants on the stems. This will prevent animals and pests from digging into the soil and eating the seeds you’ve planted.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you should never consume any part of the sweet pea flower, because it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
  • Sweet peas are multi-functional and can be used as a climbing vine, a tall bush or tree, and even in containers and vases if you choose to bring them indoors.







One Response

  1. Lauren March 7, 2019

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