E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lathyrus ochroleucus Hook.
creamy peavine (cream pea; cream-flowered peavine)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74763)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lathyrus ochroleucus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems erect to clambering, 30-100 cm tall/long, inconspicuously angled, not winged, glabrous.
Alternate, pinnately compound with 6 to 8 leaflets in pairs; leaflets narrowly egg-shaped to elliptic, 3-7 cm long, 1-4 cm wide; tendrils well developed, usually branched and grasping; stipules 1/3-2/3 the length of the leaflets, narrowly egg-shaped, not lobed.
Inflorescence a loose, stalked, axillary cluster of 6 to 14 pea-like flowers; corollas creamy-yellow to greenish-white, 12-17 mm long, the banner 14-17 mm long, the banner-claw shorter than the blade, the wings the same size as the keel and shorter than the banner; calyces 8-10 mm long, glabrous except for a fringe of hairs on the teeth, the upper pair of teeth about 1/2 as long as the lower.
Pods, 4-7 cm long, 4-7 mm wide, hairless, brown with age; seeds 5 to 12.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist, open forests, thickets, glades, meadows and rocky ridges in the montane zone; common in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains and south of 57oN, infrequent northwards; N to NT, E to PQ and S to OH, PA, VT, SD, WY and NE WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lathyrus ochroleucus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 6 848 2400
Slope Gradient (%) 0 14 262
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 205 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(9), BWBS(655), CWH(1), ESSF(20), ICH(97), IDF(386), MS(56), PP(16), SBPS(108), SBS(660), SWB(15)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, montane, North American forb distributed in the Cordilleran and Central regions. Occurs in continental boreal and wet cool temperate climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-rich soils in the coast-interior ecotone; its occurrence increases with increasing continentality and latitude, and decreases with increasing elevation. Common in semi-open forests on baseĀ­rich, water-shedding and water-receiving sites. Symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria enhances the supply of available soil nitrogen. Characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References