A great spring bee plant, Lathyrus vernus is a compact, bushy perennial with pea-like foliage and pretty, dark purple vetch-like flowers. It’s perfect for growing in a partially shaded spring border, where it associates well with other spring-flowering plants such as bleeding heart and primrose. All plants in the pea family are excellent for bees, as the flowers bear particularly high quality pollen, which, when fed to bee grubs, helps them grow into strong, robust adults.
Grow Lathyrus vernus in rich but well-drained soil, ideally in a mixed border among later-flowering plants which will spread to fill the gap when its foliage dies down in midsummer. Alternatively, grow on a bank among low ground-covering plants.