H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Lathyrus Latifolius - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Lathyrus Latifolius Described.
Lathyrus Latifolius - Large-leaved Lathyrus, or Everlasting Pea; Nat. Ord. Leguminosæ.
This deciduous climber is one of the handsomest plants of the British flora; in its wild state it is a charming object, and under cultivation, in full exposure to sunshine, with proper provision for its tendrils, and kept clear of weeds, it becomes in every way one of the finest objects in the garden, whether considered as a decorative climber, a floral specimen, or a source of cut flowers.
It grows fully 8ft. high, in deep and rich soil, and is furnished with large, many-flowered bunches of blossom from the leaf axils nearly all its length, each flower stalk being 6in. to 9in. long. The flowers are of a lively rose colour, about twelve in a cluster; tendrils five-cut, long, and two-leaved. The leaves are in pairs, elliptical, many ribbed, glaucous, and very large, whence the specific name; the internodes of the whole plant are winged, wings membranaceous; stipules large, broader than the stems. The habit is rampant; it enjoys sunshine, but will do in partial shade.
L. l. albus is a variety similar to the above in all its parts, but scarcely as large in the foliage, and the flowers are pure white, and produced a week or a fortnight later; for cutting purposes these are justly and highly esteemed.
Tall vases may be pleasingly dressed by the flowered stems, if cut about 3ft. long; these twined round or hanging down are very graceful, but they should not be used too freely—one, or two at most, on each large vase will be ample.
Both the above may be grown with good effect amongst other climbers, on a specially prepared trellis-work, ordinary pea-rods, or over defunct trees.
Propagated by seeds, or by division of very strong roots only. February is a good time for both methods.
Flowering period, June to August.
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