Lathyrus vernus 'Little Elf'
spring pea 'Little Elf'
'Little Elf' is a compact, clump-forming perennial to 20cm tall with dark green leaves divided into oval or lance-shaped leaflets. Small, rounded, pea-like flowers with pink standards and white keels are borne on short, wiry stems in spring
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Ultimate height0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height2–5 years
Ultimate spread0.1–0.5 metres
MoistureMoist but well–drained, Well–drained
pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
- Full sun
- Partial shade
South–facing or West–facing or East–facing
ExposureExposed or Sheltered
- Native to the UK
- Clump forming
- Potentially harmful
- Acute ingestion may cause mild stomach upset. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Lathyrus can be annuals or herbaceous or evergreen perennials, mostly climbing, with pinnate leaves ending in a tendril, and showy pea-like flowers, fragrant in some species
- Name status
How to grow
Best grown in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. See sweetpea cultivation for further information.
Propagate by division in early spring
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Gravel garden
- Cottage and informal garden
- Rock garden
- Flower borders and beds
- Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Deadhead regularly then cut stems down to the ground in autumn
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