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

Lathyrus nevadensis var. nevadensis S. Watson
purple peavine (Sierra pea)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #84047)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lathyrus nevadensis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems erect to trailing, 15-100 cm tall/long, angled but not winged, soft-hairy.
Alternate, pinnately compound with 4 to 10 mostly paired leaflets; leaflets narrowly egg-shaped to lance-elliptic, 2-12 cm long, 0.2-3 cm wide; tendrils usually well developed and branched, at least some grasping; stipules 2-lobed, lanceolate to linear, less than 1/2 as long as the leaflets.
Inflorescence a loose, stalked, axillary cluster of 2 to 7 pea-like flowers; corollas usually bluish-purple or reddish-purple, fading to tan, 13-27 mm long, the banner darker than the wings or keel, about as long as the wings and 1-3 mm longer than the keel, the banner-claw shorter than the blade; calyces 6-12 mm long, somewhat hairy, the lanceolate teeth about 1/2 as long as the tube.
Pods, 3-7 cm long, 4-9 mm wide, glabrous; seeds 4 to 12.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry, open forests (deciduous, coniferous, and mixed), glades and meadows in the lowland and montane zones; common in C (between 52o and 56o N) and SW BC, locally frequent in SC and SE BC, absent on the Queen Charlotte Islands, N Vancouver Island and the adjacent coast; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lathyrus nevadensis

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) 2 711 2500
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 240
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 195 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
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(2), BWBS(13), CDF(89), CWH(73), ESSF(20), ICH(185), IDF(179), MS(14), PP(5), SBPS(27), SBS(724), SWB(2)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American forb distributed in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen­rich soils within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation, precipitation, and latitude. Occasional in coniferous forests, frequent in broad-leaved forests on water-shedding 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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lathyrus nevadensis var. nevadensis S. Watson [superfluous autonym]

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References