Lathyrus japonicus Willd.
Family: Fabaceae
beach pea
Lathyrus japonicus image
Robert W. Freckmann  
Etymology: Lathyrus: from the Greek lathyros, an old name for "pea"
Plants: creeping, perennial, up to 40" long, stout forb; from rhizomes
Leaves: pinnately-divided into 3-6 pairs of slightly fleshy leaflets with symmetrical, leaf-like appendages at the base
Flowers: purple and white, 5-parted, 1/2"-1" long; inflorescence a stalked cluster (raceme) of 5-10 stalked flowers; blooms June-Aug.
Fruits: flat, long pod
Habitat: Great Lake shores; in sandy soil
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Native