Lathyrus japonicus maritimus - Beach Pea
This sweet creeper grows wild along seashores from New England to Alaska to Japan. Violet flowers bloom spring through summer, vibrant against the smooth blue-green foliage. It's pretty enough to plant in your garden, adds nitrogen to the soil and is very effective preventing erosion.
Beach Pea can climb by tendrils, but it generally forms a dense ground cover about 2' high. It's a bit dense for a mixed border, but substantial enough to hold up a sand dune.
Beach Pea is perennial in zones 3 to 8b, all the way to Alaska! It needs full sun, will grow in any soil, moist or dry, as long as it has good drainage. It loves sand and does very well with maritime exposure.
Lathyrus japonicus is a great problem solver in gardens with sandy soils, sliding hillsides, or salt spray and grows easily from seed. Scuff and soak them before planting.