Lathyrus is a genus of flowering plant species known as sweet peas and vetchlings. Lathyrus is in the legume family, Fabaceae, and contains approximately 160 species. They are native to temperate areas. There are annual and perennial species which may be climbing or bushy.
Many species are cultivated as garden plants. The genus includes the garden sweet pea [Lathyrus odoratus] and the perennial everlasting pea [Lathyrus latifolius]. Flowers on these cultivated species may be rose, red, maroon, pink, white, yellow, purple or blue, and some are bicolored. They are also grown for their fragrance.
Other species are grown for food. The tuberous pea is grown as a root vegetable for its starchy edible tuber.