Toxic Parts:
non-protein amino acids, BAPN
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
  • flower color
  • flower color
ornamental, gardens, woodlands, meadows

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Sweet pea distribution - United States

Related Species

Sweet Pea

Lathyrus odoratus

Annual Sweet Pea, Gesse Odorante, Pois De Senteur, Chorreque
4/ 10
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is an annual flowering climbing plant of the legume (Fabaceae) family. Sweet pea has large bright, showy, pea-like or butterfly-shaped pink clusters of elongated flowers and flattened pod fruits. It has compound leaves bearing two leaflets and a central tendril with winged stems. Sweet pea originated from southern Italy, found on the island of Sicily. It was distributed worldwide for its beauty and grown for ornamental purposes in gardens.

Sweet Pea Toxic Components

Sweat pea contains β-aminopropionitrile (BAPN), which is a toxic amino-acid derivative. If ingested, the toxin causes a poisoning syndrome known as lathyrism. Lathyrism is a paralysis syndrome. Horses develop clinical signs from consumption of large quantities of L. odoratus over a long period of time. Once signs develop however, they are irreversible, other than surgery might correct roaring.