Fragrant Perennial Sweet Peas?

double_delightJanuary 8, 2003

All the wonderfully fragrant sweet peas seem to be *annuals* (Lathyrus odoratus). There don't seem to be any *perennial* sweet peas (Lathyrus latifolius) that are fragrant.

Can Lathyrus odoratus and Lathyrus latifolius be crossed? Think of the excellent possibilities!


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I guess nobody knows for sure, or if they do, they're not talking ^_^!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2003 at 9:54PM
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agrinerd(6b NC)

That's something like to see. My Dad did some crosses back in the late 60s and came up with one seed, resulting in one seedling, from an L. odorata. It looked like an L.latifolius, but as soon as it reached 12", a mole undermined it and it died. After that we launched an all-out attack against moles. There were many enemy casualties, but we never got a chance to try the cross again. Maybe soon.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2003 at 4:44PM
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I've been breeding my own black sweet pea for a few years, my neighbour has some of the perenial type, maybe I'll give it a go and rasie the offspring under lights I don't have to wait until next year to see how the come out,

    Bookmark   March 31, 2003 at 8:24AM
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Cool. A good possibility. I think i will try it. It would be great. Save having to plant sweet pea seeds in the autumn and over winter them, harden them off ....

    Bookmark   April 20, 2003 at 6:28PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

No. Only the same species can be crossed succesfully. There are no fragrant perennials, but there are some that are more fragrant than others in the odoratus family. For the most fragrant, the smaller heirloom types are the ones to choose. However, they don't have the size of bloom or the frilliness in flower as the hybridised English ones. The names of the most fragrant in the heirloom type are Cupani, Matucana, Lady Grisel Hamilton, etc. and any that are closer to the original wildflower. The more modern Spencers have Royal Wedding, White Supreme, Lilac Ripple, Ethel Grace, Angela Ann, to name a few. Generally speaking, the darker the blossom in the more modern flowers, the lighter the scent.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2003 at 10:40AM
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Are lathrys really that incestuous when it comes to crossing? I've always wondered about crossing some of the wild lathyrs species with their domesticated relatives but I've never seen hybrids of even the wild species cropping up so I've doubted it would work.
I guess this is one of those classic examples of the vagaries of taxonomy for you,
Mind you I'm doing nicely on breeding my fragrant black sweet pea.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2003 at 4:25AM
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agrinerd(6b NC)

Hi Absent,

Did you get a chance to try the interspecific Lathyrus cross? All my attempts o grow L. odoratus were thwarted by torrential rains and bugs galore.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2003 at 10:37AM
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senciall(z5 CDN)

Crossing perennial and annual sweet peas would seem so obvious that I am sure it would have been done by now. It would be great to have a scented perennial sweet pea...but we will probably have to await for improvements in gene transfer. Sweet pea enthusiasts might be interested to know that back in 1926 the great English sweet pea breeder, Chas W.J. Unwin, tried to breed an elusive yellow sweet pea by crossing sweet peas with laburnums. Of course it proved impossible. I has ideas of crosses with the yellow gorse, but who would want a prickly sweet pea!? Oh well, dream on. Ian

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 12:05PM
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dragonflygirl(7 NC)

First year to grow sweet peas and would appreciate any information from long time growers. I have ordered two varieties, which I understand is good for my area. I am in the Raleigh, NC area. I have Winter Elegance and Incense. Any advise would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 6:31AM
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