The sweet pea is a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae, native to Sicily, Cyprus, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands. It is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1–2 metres, where suitable support is available.
Sweet peas have been cultivated since the 17th century and a vast number of cultivars are commercially available. They are grown for their flower colour (usually in pastel shades of blue, pink, purple and white, including bi-colours), and for their intense unique fragrance. With their seductive fragrance, sweet peas make great flowers for gardens and bouquets. These pea-like flowering annuals grow in many lovely colors and are suitable for a border, a woodland garden, and a trellis or arch. Cultivated sweet peas go back at least 300 years. In their native Sicily, these ornamental peas have weak stems and an intense orange-jasmine-honey scent. Modern hybrids are stronger-stalked and have larger blooms.