Rare Peas - Identification

flowerbug

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I'm giving dry peas a whirl this year, never tried to grow them before. Ordered this one as it was described as being one of the highest producing of all on offer. The only info I have on it is, it came from Will Bonsall in 2013. Have you any information on this variety @Zeedman ? I've only heard this name in relation to beans.

there's always more need for whirl'd peas.
 

Zeedman

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I'm giving dry peas a whirl this year, never tried to grow them before. Ordered this one as it was described as being one of the highest producing of all on offer. The only info I have on it is, it came from Will Bonsall in 2013. Have you any information on this variety @Zeedman ? I've only heard this name in relation to beans.
My stock is originally from Will Bonsall too. In 2005, I asked him to send 5 varieties of his choice that were worth preserving. In return, he sent me a selection of seven peas, all but one of which were soup varieties (Black Eyed Susan was listed in SSE as a shelling pea at the time). My notes are that it was just OK as green shelled, had short vines (under 24"), did well in hot weather, seemed to possess some resistance to PM, and had very few culls.

In Will's original SSE descriptions of peas, he even included his observations of how many heat units were required for the variety; but according to my records, not for Black Eyed Susan.

I try to regenerate at least one of Will's peas each year, but after several years of bad weather, am way behind. This year I am growing Rimpaus Green Victoria, which I last grew in 2009. Started in pots, germination has been good... but very slow. I will be transplanting the seedlings on my next trip to the rural garden.
 

heirloomgal

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@Zeedman you are a wealth of knowledge! I wonder if I have a different pea, this one came from Annapolis Seeds in Nova Scotia and the descriptions said it climbs to 6ft+...
 

Zeedman

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@heirloomgal , it is possible that the difference is due to climate. My Spring is usually brief, and Summer heat comes on quickly (as it did this year). I usually can't plant until after June 1st, so my peas are growing in warm/hot weather. Will gave very little info on the variety for comparison, but I found an entry from a grower in Minnesota who claimed BES grew to 4'... so "your mileage may vary". ;) My seed is from 2012; even given the longevity of pea seed, I will need to renew it pretty soon.
 

heirloomgal

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The peas are all doing quite well despite the heat, it helps that many are planted in a position to get some shade throughout the day.

'Hurst Green Shaft' has the largest, most sprawling tendrils of any of the peas by far. Unfortunately germination for this variety has been consistently very poor; not sure whether to attribute this to aged packaged seed or the pea variety itself. Will save seeds from these few that sprouted and see next year.
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Had a tremendous downpour yesterday which resulted in the peas being knocked far off their climbing course. Likely that I'll have to manually tie them up against the trellis. The downfall of peas as a vegetable, I've found, is that they are generally weak climbers with the exception being any hyper-tendril pea variety.
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A new pea variety I'm trying 'Magnolia Blossom'. Climbs to 6 feet, and appears so far to be a strong and fast growing variety.
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At the last minute I decided on planting one of my favourite peas from last year, 'Novella'. It's a hyper tendril shelling pea. Very sweet, great climber and productive. A definite keeper for the garden.
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'Schweizer Reisen' is also turning out to be another great new variety. Impressive growth and germination.
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'Sugar Ann' snap pea producing it's first edible pods. Pretty good taste, probably excellent cooked as it isn't sugary sweet. These plants though are for a seed crop, as I have so few seeds.
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'Large Manitoba' made it's first blossoms today. Such a beautiful potted plant, for a vegetable.
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'Champion of England' not looking yet like a champion. Has been so slow to get growing. One of the least vigorous varieties of the whole pea trial.
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'Dwarf Grey Sugar' finally bloomed!
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flowerbug

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any of the Dwarf Sugar Gray peas i've grown have done well here. i'm not sure if you've ever grown enough of them to eat them as a dry pea, but the ones i tried weren't the best, but it would keep you from starving if you were really hungry. :) best eating of them were as young peas and the pods.
 

heirloomgal

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any of the Dwarf Sugar Gray peas i've grown have done well here. i'm not sure if you've ever grown enough of them to eat them as a dry pea, but the ones i tried weren't the best, but it would keep you from starving if you were really hungry. :) best eating of them were as young peas and the pods
I tried them as snow peas too, as I thought that was the stage the were supposed to be most edible in, and the taste was great, but there was definitely a string in there that needed taking out. ;) I've become a bit picky with my peas over the last few years, I like them sweet but only just. 'Snow Wind', which I grew a bucket of last year, was the best snow pea I ever had. There was no detectable sweetness raw, but cooked :drool
 

flowerbug

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I tried them as snow peas too, as I thought that was the stage the were supposed to be most edible in, and the taste was great, but there was definitely a string in there that needed taking out. ;) I've become a bit picky with my peas over the last few years, I like them sweet but only just. 'Snow Wind', which I grew a bucket of last year, was the best snow pea I ever had. There was no detectable sweetness raw, but cooked :drool

yes, for the pods you have to get them pretty early to not be annoyed by the string. Mom won't eat them at all. i don't care, the string can floss my intestines as it goes through. :)

i have a soup pea that sounds like what you are describing in flavor, it's not really sweet but i love eating them right out of the pod or steamed a little. i've never actually let enough of them go to seed to have enough to make soup with them. they're white flowered and have plenty of tendrils so they support each other nicely when planted in a block. i didn't even plant any of these this year but i have a good supply of seeds for when i do plant them again. they're not rare though, they came out of a bean mix blend for soups. :)
 
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