Francisco Cupani, a Franciscan monk, is credited with first describing the wild Lathyrus odoratus and sending seed from Sicily to gardens in Amsterdam and Britain in 1699. The name Cupani Sweet Pea is often applied to this wild species form with sweetly fragrant, dark bluish-purple to light blue, bi-colored flowers. On March 23, 1811, “Lathyrus odoratus. sweet scented pea” was planted in an oval flower bed by Monticello’s southwest portico.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost at 65˚. Before sowing, scarify and pre-soak seeds for 24 hours. Transplant to individual pots, then harden off and plant outdoors after the last frost. Provide a support structure. Approximately 15-20 seeds per packet.
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