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Sweet Pea Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Sweet Pea Flower Meaning and Symbolism

One of the most beloved and known plants is the Sweet pea flower. As the April birth flower, sweet pea has a sweet smell, many soft colors except yellow, and a delicate look due to ruffled petals. The sweet pea has many meanings, including blissful pleasure, gratitude, and goodbyes.

Keep reading to learn about the Sweet pea’s history, meanings and color symbolisms, how to care for it, and when to give the Sweet pea as a gift.

About the Sweet Pea Flower

We’ll start this informative guide by talking about what is sweet pea. The Sweetpea flower also goes by the scientific name Lathyrus Odoratus. Lathyros is Greek for pea or pulse. And Odoratus is the Latin word for fragrant. 

Sweet pea flowers are annual of over 100 species that belong to the Lathyrus genus of the Fabaceae (pea) family. 

History and Origin

Sweet Pea flowers are native to Sicily and southern Italy, where they were discovered growing wildly by a Sicilian monk. 

Because he loved the fragrance so much, he sent seeds to botanical institutions and plant collectors globally. Original Sweet peas from the 1600s had a dark purple hood covering a dark blue flower

The plants date back to the 17th century, developed by Scottish nurseryman Henry Eckford in the Royal Horticultural Society. His work creating hybrids earned him the Victoria Medal of Honor once Sweet Peas became one of the most popular plants during the Victorian period.


Sweet pea plants can climb to six feet, although it usually requires support to grow in the right direction. 

The leaves of a sweet pea plant are spiral, allowing them to easily adjust in direction to produce beautiful flowers at the top. The flower shape resembles a butterfly due to the five delicate ruffled petals.

Sweet Pea Flower Care

To get your plants to grow to expected heights, you’ll need to provide the proper support. First, you’ll need to soak them overnight in water when planting from seeds to boost growth. Then, start seeds indoors from late winter to early spring before moving them to their final environment. 

These plants require good drainage and shallow planting – less than 1″ deep and 3″ to 4″ apart. Removing dead blooms encourages new growth once the plants are established. 

Uses Throughout History

There have been many uses of the Sweet Pea plant throughout time. It has multiple symbols related to magic and superstitions. 

Its delightful scent and look make it a popular choice for ornamentals, primarily chosen for its elegant aesthetic, soft colors, and light, sweet floral scent. As a result, it became a popular ornament for weddings and dinner parties. 

Sweet peas have also been used for natural perfume, easily fragrancing clothing by being put in buttonholes or pockets. 

These flowers are commonly used for bouquets, floral arrangements, weddings, filler flowers, centerpieces, and tattoos.

Sweet Pea Symbolism

There are many sweetpea meanings, just as there are many different colors. The sweet pea flower meaning most associated with this plant is a blissful pleasure. Other sweet pea meanings include loyalty, goodbyes, departures, and gratitude. A sweet pea bouquet also says thanks for a good time.

Etymological Meaning

We can thank Henry Eckford for the lovely, fragranced versions of the Sweet pea flower that we enjoy today. 

Its sweet fragrance, similar to cotton candy, influenced both the plant’s scientific name of Lathyrus (pea) and odoratus (smell or fragrance) and its common name sweet pea symbolism.

Magical Properties

Some cultures believe that sweet pea flowers can deepen a person’s wisdom. It’s also thought that it can provide spiritual strength. 

Many people plant Sweet pea climbing flowers to bring the benefits of peace, joy, and love. 

Birth Flower of April

Every month of the year has a specific flower association. For example, the sweet pea birth flower is the month of April. Therefore, the sweet pea April birth flower makes this a suitable gift for anyone born during this month. 


A Sweet pea flower can also be a simple way to say goodbye to the person you love and signify the hope that there will be a reunion in the future and that the distance will not be harmful to your relationship. 

You can also use it to symbolize a kind, polite farewell to someone departing your life that wasn’t meant to be permanent.  

Sweet Pea Flower Color Meaning

You can find every sweet pea color except yellow sweet pea, which hasn’t been possible, despite the many hybrid varieties of sweet pea blossoms. Each color has a unique sweet pea meaning.


White sweet pea flowers symbolize gratitude, calmness, and innocence. Cream and white flowers sent as a gift represent feeling gratitude towards a person for being there for you or their help in an important matter.


Sweet pea flowers in pink represent youth, beauty, joy, delicacy, love, and happiness. Pink sweat pea flowers are the most common color used for wedding bouquets and decor.


A purple sweet pea flower is very royal. Therefore, purple sweet pea flowers are symbolic of pride, admiration, and respect. You can show someone your respect and admiration for their success or personal traits. 


Red sweat pea flowers are symbolic of courage, love, and desire. You can also use a red sweet pea bouquet when going to dinner with someone. Use it to say you had a good time with them, thank you, and that you will see them again.

Sweet Pea Flower FAQ

You can never know enough information about any topic. So, check out these commonly asked questions people also have about sweet pea flowers.

When Should You Give Someone a Sweet Pea Flower?

Sweet peas bouquets are an appropriate gift for a person starting a journey. You can also give a sweet pea bouquet for birthdays since April is the sweet pea flower birth month. 

Sweat pea can also be appropriate for symbolizing appreciation and gratitude towards someone or telling someone, “I care and think about you.”

Our Sweet Pea Flowers Annuals or Perrenials?

Sweet pea flowers are annuals.

What Does a Sweet Pea Tattoo Represent?

A sweet pea tattoo meaning is to remember a loved one. A sweetpea flower tattoo can also mean goodbyes or gratitude towards someone. 

Our Sweet Pea Flowers Poisonous?

Many people wonder, are sweet peas poisonous? The seeds of this plant are extremely toxic if consumed.

Final Thoughts

Sweet peas have an alluring sweet scent, elegant soft pastel shades, and a delicate, tender look. These romantic flowers are symbolic of goodbyes, the birth flower of April, blissful pleasure, and gratitude. Unfortunately, these flowers are not edible despite the name and cannot be a yellow color.