Lathyrus splendens



Although Lathyrus splendens is classed as a native plant in the USA, the common names 'Pride of California' or 'Campo Pea' are somewhat misleading. Its main area of distribution is in Baja California in the Sierra Juárez and the Sierra San Pedro Mártir.

L. splendens has fairly exacting requirements and is not considered easy to cultivate, but is a spectacular plant as seen in this photograph by J. E.(Jed) and Bonnie McClellan © California Academy of Sciences.

It is important to distinguish this species from Lathyrus latifolius 'Splendens' which is sometimes sold under the same name. The latter is merely a selected form of the common European 'Everlasting Pea'. The true species is uncommon in cultivation and difficult to obtain.



Lathyrus splendens is native to areas with a Mediterranean type of climate, namely mild wet winters and hot dry summers. A well drained soil is essential for success, as is restricting natural or artificial irrigation during the summer months.

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