Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lathyrus odoratus, Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas climbing on an Acanthus mollis flower
Sweet Peas are at their best during November on the coast while in more temperate climates the season can be extended into summer .They like it cool with no extremes of temperature.
Picking them regularly also extends the season but the stems get shorter especially if there are some hot days. I just wish the season was longer here so as to keep enjoying the delicious scent .
The Italian- southern European sweet pea was introduced into cultivation during the early 18th century. They were celebrated by the great Italian American film director Martin Scorsese in his 1993 film The Age of Innocence. A huge bowl of sweet peas, the centrepiece of a table in a vast conservatory held our attention and were privy to a conversation of gossip and intrigue. The camera slowly circled the table while billowing curtains carried the sweet pea fragrance on the breeze straight to the viewer.

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