Sweet Pea Types

The sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus, is originally native to Sicily. My grandmother's family originates from here and it is no wonder I fell in love with this flower. The sweet pea is an annual climbing plant that can grown anywhere from one to ten feet tall depending on your growing conditions. Unlike sugar snap peas, their tendrils do not grab very strongly to their netting and they typically need to be tied and corralled.


Plant Types

Cuthbertson

This variety can bloom slightly earlier than the most popular Spencer variety when grown in eleven hour days. Known for its ability to better withstand high summer temperatures. Typically has four to six flowers per stem. A limited color range and less impressive flower form make this variety less popular. If you live in the hot US south, it may be worth exploring this or Royal varieties. Vines grow six to eight feet.


Dwarf and Semi-Dwarf

A shorter variety well suited for growing in patio pots, hanging baskets or as annual ground cover. Dwarf grow between six and twelve inches and semi-dwarf a few feet.


Early or Winter Flowering

This variety blooms rapidly needing only ten hours of daylight. This variety is great where summers are too hot and early season bloom is needed. Another great variety to try in hot climates.


Galaxy

This variety may bear up to eight flowers on the stem, but lack the more ruffled appearance of Spencers.


Grandiflora Old-fashioned

Generally appearing hooded with smaller flowers and shorter stems. Also known as "antique" varieties. This term is often seen to refer to either Grandiflora or Cupani varieties. Old-fashioned varieties tend to have a stronger scent.


Modern Grandiflora

Bred to combine the scent of old-fashioned grandiflora with the larger petal sizes and stem lengths loved by modern growers.


Spencer

This classic variety descended from Henry Eckford's Prima Donna 'Countess Spencer'. This variety is great for cut flower production with long stems and a wide color range. Vines grow between six and ten feet. Typically carries four blooms per stem. Large frilly flowers.


Royal

Developed by the Ferry-Morse Company as an improved form of the Cuthbertson's. Bloom time is similar to Spencers. More tolerant to high summer temperatures. Vines grow between six to eight feet. Carries up to eight blooms per stem.


Flower Types

Bi-color

Flowers will have a different color in the upper part of the flower (standard) and the wings.


Flake

Marked by a boldly patterned coloration with streaks.


Marble

A rare flower with veins of the peals colored and marked off distinctly from the rest of the petal.


Picotee

Flower has a narrow border along the edges of petals that is a darker shade and may contrast to the general flower color.


Self

Color is pretty uniform with equal distribution on the standard and the wings.


Shifter

Refers to flowers that change color as they age.


Stripe

Marked with white or almost white stripes with standards edged with a narrow band of color. Wing coloration is similar but reversed.