Saturday, 24 April 2010


The daffodils were flowering all round the site while I was off-line, but they're fading a bit now. These are some of the peas I'm growing this year; you can see the variation in colour.

Salmon-Flowered Pea. The reddish tinge is due to anthocyanin, and it's controlled, firstly, by a gene enabling the plant to produce it. Many peas lack this gene altogether. Then more genes are needed, each one controlling its expression in a specific part of the plant. So more peas have the first gene, but we don't see the red pigment because they lack the genes enabling its expression.

Purple-Flowered Russian. This one has red borders to the leaves.

Robinson's Purple Podded. Like many old peas, it lacks a 'proper' name, but this one comes from Robinson's Seeds. The red pigment appears in the flowers and the pods, but is lacking in the leaves.

Hatif d'Annonay, 'Early Annonay'. This is a short pea; the growth habit is far more compact than the others, due to a much shorter internodal length, from one leaf to the next along the stem.

Carruther's Purple Podded. Saved by the family of a Patrick Carruthers, hence the name. Again, no red to be seen.

Kool's Langstro Rosyn, 'Mr Kool's Lang Straw (ie tall) Raisin Pea. The raisin capucijners are improved field peas bred in the first half of the 20th Century. They have distinctive very large seeds, the size of small beans.

Serpette Guilotteau; a 'guilotteau' is apparently an old French type of pruning knife, which the sickle-shaped pods are supposed to resemble. In the second pic you can see that the lower leaves are losing their colour and dying off. I've seen this in seedling peas shortly after planting out before, and I imagine it's due to stress. the growing tips look quite healthy, and I imagine they'll soon recover.

Meanwhile, we have a rabbit on the site. I saw prints in the snow; they come up the railway line or the canal in snowy weather. It's still around, and raiding roots. It's been at my Chinese artichokes and tuberous peas repeatedly, and now it's started on the oca and the spuds.

1 comment:

  1. You have some very interesting peas there Robert.

    I don't envy you your rabbit though.