Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae (legumes), native to the eastern Mediterranean region from Sicily east to Crete.
It is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1-2 m where suitable support is available. The leaves are pinnate with two leaflets and a terminal tendril, which twines around supporting plants and structures helping the sweet pea to climb. The flowers are purple, 2-3.5 cm broad, in the wild plant, larger and very variable in colour in the many cultivars.
Sweet peas have been cultivated since the 17th century and a vast number of cultivars are commercially available. They are often grown by gardeners for their bright colours and the sweet fragrance that gives them their name.