SWEET PEA SPRING! Sweet Peas (properly called Lathyrus odoratus) are one of the great plants for cutting, and they provide irresistible colors and fragrance for spring and early summer bouquets. The delicate flowers are available in a wide range of rich colors, and they scent the air with grapelike perfume. Sweet Peas are known for their beautiful ruffled flowers in shades of pastels, blues, and bi-colors. Many varieties are fragrant making them a desirable cut flower.
While the name of flower implies that it is a kind of food, the neurotoxins in it actually make it poisonous. In the language of flowers, the sweet pea is a symbol of gratitude and happiness.
Sweet pea is a native of the China family of Pulses. The two words in the flower’s scientific name, “Lathyrus odoratus,” mean “fragrant” and also “very attractive.” That meaning makes a lot of sense! When it comes to the plant’s common name, however, the poet Keats is the first person who used the name. During the time in which Keats was writing, sweet peas were popularly used in England.
Sweet peas are associated with the ideas of departures and goodbyes – as well as those of blissful pleasure. The flower can also be used to say thank you. The sweet pea is the official birth flower of April. The sweet pea flower was first cultivated in the 18th century. It was brought by F. Kupani, a Sicilian monk, to England. The plant quickly became popular in England as it became a favorite of the king. Breeding programs quickly established multiple cultivars of this bloom. In fact, no major event – be it a wedding or a grand dinner party – was complete without the sweet pea! It was famous during the Victorian era, when it was often called the Queen of Annuals. Sweet pea flowers are often planted on Good Friday, so there is some spiritual significance to this plant, too.
Sweet peas are often given at weddings. In France, in fact, these flowers are believed to be good omens for brides – giving a sweet pea to the bride is a way to encourage good luck.
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