A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
March 23 & 24, 2001 

Page 10: Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

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The flattened stem is shown below, along with one of the tendrils found at the tips of each stem branch. These tendrils are well-developed in this species.

The generic name, Lathyrus, is the Greek name for the pea. The species, latifolius, refers to its broad leaves (see at right). 

Thus ends this walk in Fern Bluff park...

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

Bugsinthenews

 

In the southwest sector of the park, in a small clearing between the east and west paths, are found several of these small vines. The small, red-purple flowers are perched atop long stalks known as peduncles. The flower stalks are leafless, and serve primarily to support their terminal flowers which, in this species, normally number from 5-15 on each stalk. This early in the season, it is not unusual to find only a few, as shown here, in the initial blooms. These have arrived a bit early, as this species normally does not present flowers until early April. That may explain why so few flowers are present on this plant's peduncles. L. latifolius continues to bloom thrugh July, and that will give us a chance to see the more typical 5-15 flowers to a stalk later on. While the flower stalks have essentially cylindrical cross sections, the main stem of the plant is flattened, which is one of the identifying features of this species.