Sweat pea (Lathyrus odoratus
) is an annual flowering climbing plant of the legume (Fabaceae) family. Sweat pea has large bright, showy, pea-like or butterfly-shaped pink clusters of elongated flowers and flattened pod fruits. It has compound leaves bearing two leaflets and a central tendril with winged stems. Sweat pea originated from southern Italy, found on the island of Sicily. It was distributed worldwide for its beauty and grown for ornamental purposes in gardens.
All parts of sweat pea contain the enzyme beta-aminoproprionitrile (BAPN), which can cause lathyrism.
Lathyrism is a paralysis syndrome. Horses develop clinical signs from consumption of large quantities of L. odoratus
over a long period of time. Once signs develop however, they are irreversible, other then surgery might correct roaring.