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Northern California Regional Reports

Spectacular Sweet Peas for Northern California

Favorite cultivars and growing guide for this classic beloved annual

Photo: Jennifer Benner

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are annual, cool-season climbing vines that can reach up to 6 feet in height. They are adored for their deliciously fragrant, fluttery blooms that after centuries of breeding are available in a wide range of forms and colors, including ones that are bicolored, streaked, and picoted. Sweet peas were first brought to the world’s attention in the late 1600s by Sicilian monk and gardener Francisco Cupani. The fascination with these gorgeously scented blooms continues to this day, with modern developments bringing greater disease resistance, longer bloom times, increased adaptability, and more colors, sizes, and forms to happy gardeners worldwide. Easy to grow and as lovely in the garden as they are in the vase, sweet pea starts can be found from late fall to early spring in our region at your favorite local nursery, with seeds available online and in all the best garden centers year-round.…

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