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Lathyrus littoralis

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About Silky Beach Pea (Lathyrus littoralis) Lathyrus littoralis is a species of wild pea known by the common name silky beach pea. It is native to the coastline of western North America from British Columbia to California. It is a resident of beaches and dunes. This is a perennial herb which grows a patch of hairy gray-green stems along the sandy ground or slightly upright. The woolly leaves are made up of several oval or oblong scoop-shaped leaflets. There are small, tough tendrils but the plant does not use them to climb. The plant produces dense inflorescences of several flowers each one to two centimeters wide. Each flower is bicolored in dark-veined deep pink and white. The fruit is a dehiscent oval-shaped hairy legume pod.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.6 ft (0.49 m)


Growth Rate


Flower Color
Purple, Pink, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
-75' - 327'

Annual Precip. ?
16.6" - 65.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.23" - 2.00"

Coldest Month ?
44.4° F - 51.0° F

Hottest Month ?
55.6° F - 70.2° F

Humidity ?
0.08 vpd - 15.50 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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