Sweet Pea Flower Meaning for Spring

Sweet Peas Meaning

Sweet pea flower meaning includes blissful pleasure, delicate pleasure, good-bye, departure, adieu and thank you for a lovely time. Sweet peas can also mean gratitude and loyalty in friendship. 

Sweet peas derive their name from the Greek word “lathyros” for pea or pulse, and the Latin word “odoratus” meaning fragrant. The name sweet pea is believed to have first been used by the poet Keats (1795-1821). 

Sweet peas are the flowers most closely connected to the month of April. Sweet peas come in red, pink, blue, white and lavender. A yellow sweet pea is an elusive ideal. Due to genetic factors, a true yellow requires careful hybridization and engineering. 

Sweet Pea Flower Meaning in England

Sweet peas were very popular in the late 1800s and are often considered the floral emblem for Edwardian England. Sweet peas were an important part of floral arrangements for every wedding and dinner party at that time. Dried petals of sweet peas was also one of the most important ingredients for potpourris.

Sweet Pea Flower Meaning and Colors

White sweet peas flowers are often used for weddings. They mean innocence and purity. Orange sweet peas mean enthusiasm and excitement. Red represent love and passion. Pink flowers correlate to youth and beauty. Finally, purple sweet peas represent royalty and pride. Learn more about flower color meanings.

Sweet Pea Flower Varieties

Sweet peas come in over 250 varieties. Annual varieties prefer full sun, regular watering and soil with plenty of humus. Perennial sweet peas survive in average soils with moderate watering. Sweet peas are wonderfully fragrant and were originally grown in the fields of Sicily.

Most types grow from 1-5’ tall, though some may reach 6’. Sweet peas are climbing plants that do well on supporting structures. The delicate perfume of sweet peas combined with the variety of colors available made this flower the floral sensation of the Victorian era.

Sweet Pea Flower Symbolism

Sweet Pea Flower Photo Credit Kathleen Karlsen

Sweet Pea Flower Popularity

Sweet peas can be used successfully as cut flowers and in corsages and boutonnieres. The most famous and perhaps most important use of sweet peas was the extensive genetics studies performed by Gregor Mendel.

There are few pests or problems associated with sweet peas, but they are sensitive to too much heat. According to superstition, seeds sown before sunrise on Saint Patrick’s day will have larger and more fragrant blossoms.

Unlike their edible relatives, sweet peas can be toxic in large quantities. Sweet pea flowers naturally self-pollinate while still in bud. Sweet pea festivals and garden clubs exist for true sweet pea enthusiasts. English gardeners call sweet peas the Queen of Annuals.

Kathleen Karlsen Book Author

Kathleen Karlsen

Author of Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine

The information in this article has been excerpted from the book Flower Symbols: The Language of Love by Kathleen Karlsen. This book includes ancient and modern flower meanings and folklore about the world’s most beloved flowers. Buy one for a flower lover in your life. Learn to “say it with flowers” for any occasion! 

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