Sweet Peas are wonderfully, lightly scented flowers. They make the ideal option for any June wedding and their secret meaning is blissful or delicate pleasure.

The Latin name for Sweet Peas is Lathyrus. Native to Sicily and Southern Italy they were introduced to England in 1699 by a Sicilian monk named Franciscus Cupani.

After a line of dedicated growers, in 1899 the Spencer Sweet Pea was developed by the gardener at Althrop (family home of Princess Diana). A brand new, strong stemmed, large headed, pink and frilly flower was introduced and named “Countess Spencer”. After just a little more cross breeding, it soon became the most popular strain. Today, it is still as popular and grown commercially, for us as florists to use.

long stem sweet peas

Commercially they, are grown under glass and are available throughout the early summer months. As soon as they are picked the growers treat the stems with a special and trade sensitive “silver” treatment. This treatment increases the life of the flower to potentially 10 days!

The same range of varieties are also grown in Holland. However, the quality definitely varies. Dutch grown  have smaller heads, shorter stems and do not last as long in the vase. The Dutch season starts later than the English season and continues later. The quality difference though between English and Dutch grown is considerable.

As far as scent is concerned. According to Owl’s Acre Sweet Peas: ‘Generally speaking, the blue shades and the lighter colours have the strongest fragrance. Then the dark reds and scarlet sweet peas can be almost scentless’.

The colour range though is vast. Usually the colour options would range from:


White Sweet Peas


Cream Sweet Peas

Pale pink

pale pink sweet peas

Strong pink

Strong Pink Sweet Pea

Pale blue or lilac

Pale Blue Sweet Peas


Dark Purple Sweet Peas


Red Sweet Peas


Coral Sweet Peas

Wine red

Dark Red Sweet Peas

Fancy & Bi-colours

        mixed sweet peas   Mixed Sweet Peas   

As the English Sweet Pea flowers are available on fabulously long stems it means they can successfully be used as bridal or bridesmaids . Sweet Peas Bridal BouquetsThey can also be arranged altogether or, in combination with other summer flowers to create co-ordinating table centres.

There is nothing more English or summery. A blissful  and delicate pleasure, wouldn’t you agree?

Owl’s Acre Sweet Peas ~ www.lathyrus.com

The Flower Expert ~ www.theflowerexpert.com