Seeing as I’ve completely messed up my blog schedule and haven’t done a Plant of the Month for ages I thought I’d do a profile of a lovely little plant for this time of year and then I’ll do my best to pull my socks up and get back into the blog driving seat this month. The winter blues ought to be well over by now!
The gorgeous blue-purple pea flowers of Lathyrus vernus are a rich, saturated colour and they go wonderfully with late flowering narcissus and miniature tulips. The young growth uncoils itself in an almost fern-like way in early spring and after flowering the seed pods twist into brown helixes after they burst, giving some interest for the keen-eyed beyond flowering season; otherwise it is quite unobtrusive for the rest of the year.
Lathyrus vernus likes a fertile soil and sun or partial shade and forms a clump 30-45cm tall and wide. It will self seed but not in a particularly bothersome manner. There are paler, wishy-washy coloured versions available but why would you?
Also, its common name is Spring Vetchling and that’s just cute. Anything that sounds like a minor enemy in a fantasy roleplaying game can have space in my garden.