Interesting Sweet Pea Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses

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Now, you’re probably thinking that this is the famous pea disturbing the princess’ sleep from the fairytale “The Princess and the Pea.”, sadly, it isn’t! Although, isn’t it amazing that these specific peas are not exclusively just vegetables but also really beautiful flowers? It simply isn’t easily believable!

These lovely blooms have a very interesting flower meaning and symbolism. Although these are climbing plants, it has this sweet fragrance that will give any garden that floral sensation. It comes in bright colors such as white, red, pink, orange, and purple which means peace, love, feminine beauty, blissful pleasure, and friendship, respectively.

History of Sweet Pea Flowers

Sweet peas bear the  scientific name Lathyrus odoratus and was first used in the early 17th century. The species originates from the genus Lathyrus – a Greek word meaning pea or pulse or very passionate. The species’ epithet odoratus on the other hand, derives from a Latin word that means fragrant or sweet-scented. The name sweet pea has the literal meaning fragrant.

The genus consists of over 160 different species belonging to the legume family or Fabaceae family. Sometimes, Sweet pears are often mistaken as a China family species. It is an annual shrub at which its flowers resemble the shape of a butterfly. The flower is closely related to the vegetable garden pea or crop pea and it can grow up to 8 feet tall. There are also other amazing sweet pea varieties that have been created through the years. 

Digging into the long history of the Sweet Peas, it was first discovered in the region of Sicily by a Sicilian monk – Father Francisco Cupani was the first person to describe the flower in his syllabus. The Everlasting pea, Strawberry Sundae, and Prima ballerina are just some of the varieties of Sweet peas available today. 

With all the varieties available and its lovely scent, it’s no shock that these Sweet pea flower facts will shock you. Depending on the variety of this climbing plant, it thrives best in warm climates or cold climates under full sun conditions. Again depending on the life cycle, these plants can grow for a single season or all season long.  It is also a great nitrogen fixing plant meaning it can bind nitrogen in the soil for better growth. 

Symbolism of Sweet Pea Blossoms

Sweet peas are often regarded as a floral beauty and with a sweet fragrance – giving it a dozen of symbolic meanings. It frequently blooms between the late and early seasons of Summer and Spring. This flower, along with daisies, is associated as the birth flower of April. The saying goes that giving bouquets of sweet peas to April birthday celebrants implies feelings of thankfulness for another year of life or sometimes represent love.

The sight of these flowers symbolizes environments embodying hospitality. It was once the floral emblem during the time of Edwardian England and is also a customary tribute to Orisha Oshūn, the river goddess of the Yoruba religion. Besides symbolizing kings and goddesses, sweet peas also embody the zodiac signs Libra and Pisces.

Popular beliefs also claim that Lathyrus flowers have magical properties. It can create congenial and social atmospheres for men and women to form relationships. The famous poet Keats even wrote about these flowers and its association to relationships. So, if you’re looking to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, better start house decorating with these flowers!

purple sweet pea

Meaning of Sweet Pea Blooms

The several meanings behind Lathyrus blossoms are somewhat distinct from the symbolism. Its etymological meaning is derived from its delicate scent and vibrant colors. If you’d like to wish someone a merry farewell, then giving this flower will do just the trick. A frequent association with these florets is the bidding of adieu or the departure of a friend. It also implies one’s heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

The flower color of Sweet peas can either be bright colors or soft tones. Whatever hue it may be, these flowers are sure to bring good luck or good omens and signify good wishes.

What Does a White Sweet Pea Flower Mean?

White sweet peas offer a sense of comfort and peace. May it be adorned in a bouquet or in a vase at home, these flowers are sure to bring calmness in any environment and the shifting out of bad elements. 

What Does a Red Sweet Peas Flower Symbolize?

Sweet peas with red-petalled or sometimes red pink flowers denote either charm and attractiveness or love and affection. Either symbol can be associated with these red flowers. 

What Does a Pink Sweet Pea Flower Represent?

Pink flowers are commonly associated with feminine beauty. In the case of pink sweet peas, pink petals represent bliss and pleasure. A completely distinct symbolism is the expression of shock or disbelief. 

What Does a Purple Sweet Peas Flowers Signify?

Friendship is represented by purple Lathyrus blossoms in the language of flowers. It sends the message of being thankful for the relationship one has with a dear friend, acquaintance, or a loved one.

What Does an Orange Sweet Pea Blossom Symbolize?

The color orange Sweet pea is more commonly known as the Apricot sprite. A very fragrant variety of this color was discovered by Henry Eckford in the early 1900s. This flower color is symbolic of a blissful pleasure.

What is the Cultural Significance associated with Sweet Peas?

In the Victorian era, Lathyrus flowers symbolize thanks and gratitude. It was customary in those times that guests offer or gift these flowers as a token of appreciation for the lovely time they had with the host’s company. 

Meanwhile, the French believe that Lathyrus florets are a good omen for brides. It was said that the presence of these flowers would allow anyone to tell her the truth. Brides or women bestowed with these flowers are said to be steadfast with purpose and straightforward with duty while radiating confidence and fearlessness. 

It is also very significant in early political science. 

What is a Sweet Pea Tattoo Symbolize?

Strong-willed women or girl bosses go for this floral tattoo design. It portrays and embodies a woman’s wit and determination in life and in love. Overall, it sends a message of a person’s inner strength and integrity. 

Uses of Sweet Pea Plant Parts

One famous brand used the flower as an inspiration for their cologne scent! As its species name implies, sweet peas have their essential oils extracted from the flowers. It is famously used as a fragrance in many soaps, lotions, and perfumes. Although you will need to give Sweet peas wide spaces to sow large quantities of these flowers to extract a significant amount of oil.

Like other flowers, the Sweet pea is also a popular choice for floral arrangements. It can be planted in hanging baskets or as cut flowers in bouquets. It is a great choice as a floral design in dinner parties or during a wedding day. The floral notes not only its vibrant beauty but also its scent. 

From the latest posts about the medicinal benefits of the essential oils, it does not have sufficient data to back any of its medical claims. Related posts instead claim that it contains dangerous neurotoxins that when ingested can cause muscle damage or skin collagen degradation. It is only often used as just an essential oil for fragrances and other scented-products. A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

*image credit: sapfirhik/depositphotos

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