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Lathyrus japonicus Willd.
Beach Pea, Sand Pea
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
USDA Symbol: laja
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)
Trailing vine with a stout, angled stem and pink-lavender pea-like flowers in long-stalked clusters.
In addition to North America, this widely distributed Sweetpea-like flower is also found in Chile and Japan. Marsh Pea (L. palustris), a similar species with purple flowers and lanceolate stipules, is found in wet meadows and marshes in the Northeast and Midwest.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Leaf: Dark Green
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , CT , IL , IN , MA , ME , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , VT , WA , WI
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Coastal Labrador to New England; south to New Jersey; along the Great Lakes; Pacific coast from Alaska to California.
Native Habitat: Beaches and gravelly areas.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy
BenefitUse Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Peas and very young pods. Collect young pods in early summer and peas slightly later. Do not wash with detergent or sanitizer, only water. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Seeds. Toxic if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms include Lathyrism"": paralysis, slow and weak pulse, shallow breathing, convulsions. Toxic Principle: Amine, phenol, and glycoside. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Eastern Tailed Blue
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native plants of dune erosion control in Michigan
May 30, 2008
We care for Lake Michigan dune near our home in New Buffalo and would like to provide erosion control with native species that will also enhance the beauty of the dune with long lasting flowers. The ...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lathyrus japonicus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lathyrus japonicus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lathyrus japonicus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-03-17
Research By: TWC Staff