In [2017] I bred A New Pea Variety With Purple Seeds!



these are new F2 seeds recovered from some pea crosses i did i think in spring/summer of 2015. So two years ago. This one is the descendant of a cross done between a rare, and nearly extinct variety of pea that has a dominant gene for having a purple testa color over the seed coat. The parent variety called ‘Purple Passion’ has small round dark purple seeds and grows on thin wispy and pathetically weak vines. Hardly seems domesticated at all. The other parent of the cross was a “super dwarf”, or Extra Dwarf as some literature calls it, of a short (1-2″ tall) but robust pea with thick stems, big leaves, large seeds, and a charming personality. For a plant that is. Not that plants have personalities, but whatever. The result in the F2 generation is this. A large good sized seed with the characteristic dark purple testa seed coat color. Pretty awesome. I’m excited to furthur grow this line out and see what it becomes. This is different from the Brick-red seeded peas known as ‘Biskopens’ or ‘Sweedish Red’, which are a brick-red color rather than dark purple / violet and which is a recessive trait rather than a dominant one. Biskopens is a neat variety in it’s own right, and i have recovered some interesting F2 recombinant offspring from some crosses of that variety as well.

Not sure what i should name it yet. Depends on what it turns into really. Assuming i was able to recover the “super dwarf” genetics at some point i might name that substrain something like ‘Purple Midget’ or something like that. haha

Parent Variety: ‘Purple Passion’
F1 seeds of cross between ‘Purple Passion’ Pea and ‘Mighty Midget’ Pea



2 thoughts on “In [2017] I bred A New Pea Variety With Purple Seeds!

  1. Congratulations, this is quite spectacular!
    I’d love to be able to work with the purple testa trait. This does not seem to be listed on the PGene Pisum Gene List, does it? So I’d be very grateful if you could tell me where you got your material from. Or did you happen to multiply enough seeds of ‘Purple Passion’ so that you could share some?

    PS: Do you think ‘Biskopens’ carries the same character that Dickerson* described as Ruby (Ru/ru)?
    Ruby is available through the John Innes Centre and the IPK Gartersleben.

    *Dickerson, L. M. (1931). The Inheritance of Ruby Seed Coat Color In Peas. J Hered, 22, 319-321.

    Thank you and best wishes from Austria

    • Hello Klaus!

      Those are some very good questions! I’m not sure if the purple testa is actually the same as the one in the PGene Pisum Gene List with the JIC or if it is actually “violet”. At this point i’m assuming it is ‘Violet’ or ‘Violeta’ as referenced in some seed banks. I believe an accession called ‘Violeta’ is available from the JIC, Gatersleben, and the Nordic seed banks, but i have not requested those to find out. Biskopens was originally requested from the Nordic Seed Bank listed as both ‘Biskopen II’ and ‘Biskopens Graert’ (translates to: Bishop’s Grey Pea). It can now be found commercially as ‘Swedish Red’. I honestly can’t remember who originally sent me some Purple Passion Seeds. I got it as a surprise gift (only a few seeds) when i asked for some other rare pea seeds. I think i was looking for Salmon-Flowered at the time. Who ever it was i am ever so grateful to! I have enough of the Purple Passion i think i could share, wouldn’t be much, but should be enough to grow them out and keep saving seed from. Since i might be the only person who has it at this time i am very anxious to get seed for it (or better hybrids) out into the wild. 🙂 Send me your address and I’ll plan to send you some. I already have a package of seeds i need to send to someone in Germany, so i can get both ready at the same time and fill out customs declarations. I would love for you to request some Violet seed accessions and let me know if it is indeed the same.

      I forget which Gene i decided i thought Biskopens was. Ruby (ru) could be it since it is listed as a recessive gene. But i thought i had found one that specifically said “brick red”, but now i can’t seem to find it. Out of the testa traits listed Ruby is the only one that seems to fit. Regardless of whether it is the same and whether you request some from a seed bank, i have PLENTY of Biskopens seed (and some mixed in F2 hybrids) that i can send you!


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