Traditional pea unique to the farm communities of the northern Netherlands. The name is derived from the Capuchin monks, who are said to have developed this type of pea in the 1500s. This compact variety (approximately 1m) has pretty, fragrant bicolour pink and violet flowers and large, starchy peas, perfect for drying and using as mushy peas.
Thought to have originated in Gayton, Northamptonshire and developed from Knights Tall Green Marrow. According to Peas of New York (1928) some seeds made their way to Northampton-based seed merchant Messrs Jeyes, who marketed the variety as Jeyes Conquerer. The Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette for 1859 published a selection of glowing testimonials, and a long list of growers willing to support these. A tall pea (1.8-2.1m) producing white flowers and a heavy crop of large, sweet, solid peas tightly packed it their pods. Delicious fresh, but will also freeze very well maintaining their flavour.
Our donors grandfather was given this pea in the 1940s in Sevenoaks, Kent, and the family have grown it ever since. Its attractive bicoloured flowers start off maroon/pink, turning blue on maturing, and are followed by small, crisp, sweet pods, perfect for eating as mangetout, or allowing to develop a little more and using as sweet fresh peas. Pauline Pears says, “The best pea I have ever grown.”
Called 'peleks zirnis' in Latvian, meaning 'grey peas', this type of pea is grown across Latvia and traditionally eaten with fried fatty pork and onions. Our sample was brought back from Riga on a tourist coach! After soaking overnight use the dried peas as an alternative to chickpeas. The bicoloured flowers are particularly large and as attractive as ornamental sweet peas.
The term grey peas is given to older forms of pea, and refers to those that can be eaten fresh, without cooking. Originating in Latvia and thought to be at least 100 years old, this is a vigorous, tall and productive pea. It has thick stems, large fleshy leaves and bicoloured purple flowers followed by pods containing large, well flavoured peas. Great fresh but also good for drying and using as mushy peas or pease pudding.
Our donor passed seed to HSL during the 1980s as his friend's family had grown the variety in Devon for many years. Dating back to at least 1845 this strong, reliable and vigorous maincrop variety grows to more than 2m in height and produces an abundance of thick pods well-filled with large, juicy, sweet and flavoursome peas that can be picked over several weeks.
This vigorous, tall pea (>2m) produces bicoloured pink and maroon flowers followed by large purple pods, easy to find amid the light green foliage. If picked young the pods are delicious as mangetout; when mature the peas, up to 8 of them per pod, taste deliciously sweet straight from the pod, retaining their flavour when cooked.
This variety has been grown in Durweston, near Blandford, Dorset for as long as local memory goes. They are known there as 'Mummy's' and it was suggested that the seeds were originally found in a tomb. To add to the story, there is thought to be a link between a local landowning family (the Portmans) and the 1922 expedition that unveiled Tutankhamun's tomb. A tall (>1.5m), white flowered variety, producing well-filled pods of sweet peas.
Thought to have been developed by Nutting and Sons Seed Merchants, who began trading in London during the 1860s following the dissolving of Mr Nutting's former partnership with fellow seedsman, Mr Flanagan. This ex-commercial variety produces compact (<1m) plants and pretty white flowers with green veins, followed by broad, green pods containing 5-6 large peas in each.