The fifth in the acclaimed series of RHS Horticultural Monographs, Lathyrus: The Complete Guide reveals the fascinating horticulture, botany and history of the sweet pea and its many attractive relatives. Lathyrus is a genus for all gardeners, from the dainty woodland species of spring to the spectacular summer sweet peas – this book covers them all.
- All 150 species described in detail with 95 photographs, plus a key to aid identification
- More than 500 sweet pea cultivars and 25 other Lathyrus cultivars illustrated and fully described
- Detailed history of the introduction of the sweet pea and other Lathyrus into gardens
- An account of sweet pea breeders and how they developed the sweet pea into its many modern types
- The botany and classification of the genus, including its world distribution and habitats
- The history and crop uses of Lathyrus around the world
- A checklist of around 1,200 cultivar names, 700 scientific names and 400 raisers and nurseries
- Advice on cultivation and the best ways to use sweet peas and other Lathyrus in gardens
Roger Parsons owns a Lathyrus nursery, Roger Parsons Sweet Peas, near Chichester in West Sussex, where he also holds a National Plant Collection of the genus. He is the author of Sweet Peas: An Essential Guide (2011) and was Chairman of the National Sweet Pea Society from 2017 to 2020.
Greg Kenicer is based at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and is a specialist in wild Lathyrus diversity. He did a PhD on the South American species and, with international collaborators, has studied the biogeography, evolution and taxonomy of Lathyrus. He also oversees a National Plant Collection of the genus held at RBGE.