Lathyrus sativus, Indian Pea, Blue Sweet Pea, Blue Vetchling, Sicilian Cicerchia
Florentine Cicerchia aka Blue Sweet Pea/Grass Pea/Chickling Vetch (Lathyrus Sativus) Cerchia / Almora (IF you can find them) are very expensive despite being easy to grow. It produces a beautiful blue flower. The plant is pretty robust and doesn’t require staking unless you live in a particularly windy area say, on the coast or the downs. Sow 40-50cm between rows. The number of seeds per gram varies from 3-5 and each pod can contain anything from between 2-5. These are food-grade seeds but we recommend this variety as an ornamental. The dried seeds are considered a delicacy in the Mediterranean and they have a unique earthy flavor. WARNING – they must be eaten in small quantities as they contain a neurotoxin which can cause health problems if consumed as a main source of nutrients over an extended period of time. We eat them at home occasionally and they are delicious. This is why they are only available dried and even then after soaking for 24 hours, the soaking water must be disposed of before cooking.
Sow indoors Autumn-Spring. Sow directly after danger of frost has passed. Prior to sowing soak seed for 24 hours. Drain. Indoors, sow 3 seeds in an 8cm pot, 10mm deep into moist well-drained soil. Propagate 20-25°C. Germination takes 7-21 days. Once germinated grow on in cooler conditions. Acclimatize and plant out after danger of frost has passed. Directly, sow into drills of prepared soil, 25mm deep, 8cm spacing. Pinch out the growing points of each stem when 2nd pair leaves have opened for bushier growth.