Perennial peavine (Lathyrus latifolius)

Perennial peavine (Lathyrus latifolius)
Images courtesy Glenn Miller & Dan Sharratt
Perennial peavine (Lathyrus latifolius)
Perennial peavine (Lathyrus latifolius)
EDRR Species?: 
No

Other common names
Everlasting peavine, Everlasting-pea, Perennial pea, Perennial sweetpea

Description
A widely established European native identified in every state except Florida and North Dakota. Annual growth emerges from perennial roots each spring, growing to a length of 2 to 7 feet. Stems are broadly winged with long, well-developed tendrils. Pea-like flowers are one inch long and can be white, red or pink. Leaflets are well-developed stipules that are 1 to 2 inches long. Growth becomes very dense, often completely covering all other low-growing vegetation. Vines are often found growing up into trees and shrubs. Seeds are brown, produced in pods, and are 2/3 smaller than the common edible garden pea. This plant occupies a wide range of climactic conditions, thriving in the warm, wet environment of the Pacific Northwest to the cold, dry conditions of the Rocky Mountain states. Little information has been published on this species, and it is often overlooked as an invader. Though not listed in many western states as noxious, Idaho and Wyoming are now including it in their control plans as additional infestations appear.

Impacts
Perennial peavine is increasingly a problem in Western Oregon on rights-of-way, forested regions and natural areas. In small patches it does provide a good food source for upland game birds and other wildlife, but as infestations increase in size, large areas are smothered and native plant cover reduced. Increased awareness and treatment are critical at this time to prevent further encroachment into forested areas.