Narrow-leaved Everlasting-pea - Lathyrus sylvestris


A scrambling or climbing plant to 2 metres tall with broadly-winged stems and leaves comprising a pair of narrowly lanceolate leaflets up to 15cm long with a branched tendril. Narrow stipules and calyx-teeth shorter than tube. Racemes of 4 to 10 rose-pink flowers marked with green and purple, each up to 2cm long – this species has a thin stipule compared to that of Lathyrus latifolius.

Similar Species

Lathyrus latifolius and L grandiflorus

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Stem winged, narrow stipules less than half as wide as stem, all calyx-teeth shorter than tube

Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. Show details of flowers, stipules and calyx.  If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Found in hedges, wood-borders, scrub, and on rough banks and sheltered sea-cliffs. It is sometimes cultivated in gardens and can occur as an escape in habitats such as roadsides and railway banks. Away from the coast it seems to prefer calcareous soils.

When to see it

In flower during June, July and August.

Life History

Perennial herb.

UK Status

Widespread, but quite local in distribution and not particularly common.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

In the current checklist for VC55 (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as native, but may have been introduced at Willesley Wood elsewhere; not recorded as a probable native since 1969 at Burley Wood.

It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map