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Lathyrus odoratus 'Virgo'

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© RHS 1999

Characteristics

Plant type

Annual/Biennial

Habit

Bushy

Fragrance

Flower

Toxicity

Acute ingestion may cause mild stomach upset

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Flower

White in Autumn and Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

1-2 years


Preferred common name

sweet pea 'Virgo'

Family

Papilionaceae


Lathyrus can be annuals or herbaceous or evergreen perennials, mostly climbing, with pinnate leaves ending in a tendril, and showy pea-like flowers, fragrant in some species

'Virgo' is a vigorous bushy annual bearing long-stemmed racemes of about 4 white flowers in summer and early autumn

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Grow in a fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Incorporate organic matter into the soil before planting and feed with a balanced, liquid fertiliser once a month when in growth. Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Neutral, Acid or Alkaline
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in-situ in mid-spring. Germination may be improved by pre-soaking or chipping before sowing

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers or Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

Remove after flowering

Pests

May be attacked by aphids, slugs and snails

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews