Lathyrus maritima (Beach Pea, Heath Pea) is a perennial flowering plant that is native to coastal regions of Europe, including the British Isles and parts of Scandinavia. It is well adapted to sandy and coastal environments and is known for its attractive flowers and ability to stabilize sand dunes. Here is some information about the Beach Pea:
Appearance: Beach Pea is a low-growing plant that forms spreading clumps or mats. It has trailing or prostrate stems that can reach lengths of up to 3 feet (1 meter). The plant features compound leaves with oval leaflets that are gray-green in color. The flowers are pea-like and can be a range of colors including purple, pink, or white. They are arranged in clusters and have a sweet fragrance. The flowers are followed by long, slender seed pods.
Habitat and Adaptation: Beach Pea is well adapted to coastal habitats and is often found growing in sandy dunes, shingle beaches, and coastal heaths. It is tolerant of salty winds and can withstand the harsh conditions associated with coastal environments. The plant plays an important role in stabilizing sand dunes, as its spreading growth habit helps to anchor the sand and prevent erosion.
Ecological Importance: Beach Pea is a valuable plant for coastal ecosystems. Its extensive root system helps to stabilize sandy soils, reducing the risk of erosion. The plant also provides habitat and food for various insects, including butterflies and bees. In addition, the seeds of the Beach Pea are a food source for birds and small mammals.
Cultivation: Beach Pea can be grown in gardens or coastal landscapes with sandy, well-drained soil and full sun exposure. It is a good choice for coastal gardening and can be used to stabilize sand dunes in erosion-prone areas.
Beach Pea is a valuable plant for coastal conservation and adds beauty to sandy landscapes with its attractive flowers. However, it is important to respect and protect the natural populations of Beach Pea in its native coastal habitats.
Botanical Name : Lathyrus maritima
Common Name : Beach Pea
Height : 2 ft
Spread : 1 ft
Germination Info : Soak seed in water until it swells then sow.
Hardiness zone : 5-8
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 750