Etymology: Lathyrus: from the Greek lathyros, an old name for "pea"
Plants: trailing or climbing, perennial, up to 6' long forb; stems broadly winged, numerous tendrils; from rhizomes
Leaves: 2 leaflets on broadly-winged stalks; oval to lance-shaped, symmetrical leaf-like appendages at the base
Flowers: white to purplish-red, 5-parted, 1/2"-1" long; inflorescence a long-stalked cluster (raceme) of 4-10 stalked flowers; blooms June-Aug.
Fruits: long, narrow, smooth pod with 10-15 seeds
Habitat: roadsides, railroads, fencerows, fields
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Introduced - escaped; potentially invasive
WIS DNR-Bureau of Endangered Resources: Detailed information on Wisconsin invasive species including decription, habitats, control methods USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key