Lathyrus latifolius L.

Lathyrus latifolius plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems - To +2m, heavily winged, herbaceous, climbing, glabrous, typically glaucous, from taproot, branching, multiple from base.

Lathyrus latifolius stemStem and stipules.

Leaves - Alternate, pinnate - with two leaflets. Leaflets to +10cm long, -5cm broad, glabrous, lanceolate to oblong. Petiole winged. Tendril present from between leaflets, branching. Stipules linear to lanceolate, to +2cm long.

Inflorescence - Axillary racemes of 2-20 flowers on long peduncles. Peduncles glabrous. Pedicels to +2cm long, glabrous.

Flowers - Corolla deep pink to white, papilionaceous, to 2.5cm long. Standard very broad, emarginate at apex. Stamens 10, diadelphous. Style flattish, pubescent. Calyx 5-lobed. Calyx tube to 6mm long, 5mm in diameter, glabrous. Lobes unequal, the lowest lobe longer than the others, to 7mm long. All lobes acute to acuminate. Fruits compressed, to +10cm long, 1cm broad, glabrous.

Lathyrus latifolius calyxCalyx.

Lathyrus latifolius flowerCorolla and visitor.

Lathyrus latifolius fruitFruit.

Lathyrus latifolius seedsSeeds.

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Roadsides, railroads, fencerows, open fields, sometimes cultivated.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This is a common and easily identified species in the state. The winged stems are very obvious and the flowers are very striking. The plant can be seen in profusion along roadsides and fencerows during its blooming season.
The flowers are vary variable in color, especially with the cultivated plants. Here are some color variations:

Lathyrus latifolius flowersMottled.

Lathyrus latifolius flowersWhite.

Lathyrus latifolius plant?

Photographs taken off Highway 76, McDonald County, MO., 6-3-00, somewhere along Hwy 49, 5-31-03, and in Marquette, MI., 9-8-2003.