Sweetpea meaning

Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

The scientific name of sweetpea flower is Lathyrus Odoratus.

It was derived from the Geek word “lathyros” which means pulse or pea. “Odoratus” on the other hand is a Latin word that means fragrant. When it comes to floral language, the sweetpea flower is associated with delicate pleasure, blissful pleasure, departure, goodbye, thank you for the lovely time and adieu. It’s also well known that it is the birth flower of April.

The poet Keats was believed to be the first person to use the name sweetpea. During his time (1795-1821), the sweetpeas were popularly used and was even used as the floral emblem of the Edawardian England. The flower was cultivated because of its sweet smell and was also an important part of their floral arrangements. No grand wedding or dinner party would be complete at that time without the sweetpea. It became famous during the Victorian era because of the delicate perfume scent and the lovely colors of the flower.

As for English gardeners, they fondly call the sweetpea as the “Queen of Annuals”.

  • Name: Sweetpea
  • Color: White, blue and purple, striped petals, red and pink
  • Shape: Butterfly shape
  • Fact: Not all species of the sweetpea flowers have fragrance but for those with sweet smelling fragrance makes up for the lack of other species.
  • Poisonous: Yes, especially if the seeds is ingested in large quantity.
  • Number of Petals: Five
  • Victorian Interpretation: During the Victorian times, giving out sweetpea means “thank you for the lovely time”. It can also mean blissful pleasure, departure or goodbye.
  • Blossom Time: It blooms from late spring up to early summer.
  • In France, it’s a superstition where the sweetpea is believed to be a good omen for the brides. The sweetpea will cause everyone around her to tell her the truth and give her persistence for purpose. This will carry a pure woman past all temptations and evil and give her strength to do what is needed regardless if other people will talk about her and regardless of pain.
  • The Shape: If you look at the swetpea closely, you will notice that the ruffled blooms looks like a resting butterfly. So mostly when asked what its shape is, most just say it’s butterfly shaped.
  • Petals: Most species of the sweetpea has 5 petals with one banner petal, two wings or horizontal petals and another two smaller petals that forms a keel.
  • Numerology: The sweetpea has a numerical expression of 5. This number under numerology is often associated with people who likes taking risk and thinks that almost nothing is impossible.
  • Color: There are a lot of colors for the sweetpea because a lot of variety had been developed throughout the years. But each color would have different meaning specially when mixed with other types of flowers in a bouquet.

It’s also under the planet Mercury. Those who are represented by the number 5 are usually quick when thinking of new ideas and have special powers of attraction. Generally, a person under the numerology 5 is also looking for constant changes and easily gets bored.


It is said that the sweetpea grows rapidly if it is planted on Good Friday. Sweetpeas are toxic and can cause something known as Lathyrus, only if eaten in large quantities. Sweetpea also indicates pleasure in life and departure of someone. If you plant rows of sweet peas then this can indicate that you will get great luck. 

Herbalism and Medicine:

The sweetpea have great contributions in the field of medicine specifically in the study of genetics. Gregor Mendel used this flower to conduct an extensive study in genetics because of the special characteristic of the flower. 

It has the ability to self-pollinate and the other characteristics of the plant are easily tracked like the height, petal form and color. Because of the work that he had done with the sweetpea, Gregor Mendel earned his distinction as the Father of Modern Genetics.

By Florance Saul
Aug 21, 2012