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Pisum sativum (culinary pea) x Pisum fulvum (tawny pea)

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  • Pisum sativum (culinary pea) x Pisum fulvum (tawny pea)

    Okay, this one is scary because it's my first two-species hybrid and it feels like a big step. Exciting though...

    There's been a bit of experimentation and reasearch with creating sativum-fulvum hybrids because the tawny pea has lots of disease resistance genes which would be useful to breed into the ordinary culinary pea, but I might well be the only person who's ever attempted it just for the flower colours!

    Tawny peas have flowers in shades we don't see in ordinary peas - lemon, ochre, and coral - and I'd be totally over the moon to be able to add these colours to my future Rainbow Pea mix.

    I want to work with a hybrid because the tawny pea isn't going to be any use itself. It hasn't been selected for taste or productivity and it has pods which shatter at maturity, scattering the seed everywhere which is not ideal if you're trying to harvest them! Hopefully I'll eventually get the new flower colours in a plant that's useful and productive and tasty.

    I'm going to need a lot of luck with this one...

  • #2
    I two tawny pea plants growing this year which I sowed in April and are just starting to flower now. The seeds needed chipping which was very fiddly as the seeds are tiny and hard to grip. I used a pair of jewellery pliers to hold the seed and a 1mm drill bit in a holder to make a tiny hole in the seed coat. Total pain, but 3/4 germinated and I only lost the weakest plant.

    The plants look different to my ordinary peas but you can definitely tell they are related. The stems are very thin and "spindly" compared with ordinary peas - they look fragile but are actually quite strong, and the tendrils don't cling quite so well. They've made lots more sideshoots than I expect from sativum peas too. Apparently they have excellent drought resistance which would be a useful trait to breed into this project.

    The cross-pollination plan? Well, the tawny pea has to be the pollen parent because of incompatibility issues and I'm going to try several different "mothers" depending on what I have available. Anything that isn't white-flowered will work - I'm pretty sure we need anthocyanin production to be switched on to get those beautiful yellows and oranges.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes probably, but if crossed to a white flowered variety, then crossed further it would also work. And does fulvum 'switch on' A? Long shot, but your photo showed axil spots and if the genetics is similar, just by crossing it you would transfer A.

      I wish you so much luck with this one.

    • Silverleaf
      Silverleaf commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh yes you're right, but crossing to a white-flowered type would just add in another variable which it's just easier not to have to deal with a at all if I don't have to.

      Fulvum definitely has antho production switched on, as you say it has dark purple axil spots and there's colour in the stems too.

  • #3
    Today might be the first day I get to try this, if the wind dies down this evening.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      The very best of luck!

  • #4
    Made two crosses, both with purple Telephone x Unity F3 as they were the first appropriate buds I found.

    Fulvum flowers are really small so a bit tricky to work with and get enough pollen, but I think I managed it. We'll find out soon if it's worked.

    Comment


    • #5
      Brilliant, fingers crossed

      Comment


      • #6
        I've made three crosses so far. First two with purple Tel x Un F3 flowers, and the third with a crimson Tel x Un F3.

        The first two failed but the third flower has produced a tiny pod which I think has two precious seeds in it. I'll try to do a few more but this hot weather isn't ideal, the flowers are maturing so fast it's hard to find one at the right stage to accept pollen.

        Comment


        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          That's absolutely brilliant. Fingers crossed. No not the favourite weather for peas is it. The flowers are also getting a lot smaller which makes crosses harder to do.

        • Silverleaf
          Silverleaf commented
          Editing a comment
          It's weird, I didn't think the last one was going to take because I didn't get much pollen and it was a bit damp that day, but then it was the only one that worked in the end!

      • #7
        The crossed pod looked good but it failed to grow any bigger and eventually dropped off, but I can try again next year. I have plenty of fulvum seeds now anyway!

        Comment


        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Pity! In a fit of madness (or rather Carol Deppe's advice to try wide crosses), I once crossed a pea with a runnerbean. Long time ago, Nice pod, initially but after a while it failed similarly. Great shame. Haven't tried again, but it clearly is so nearly there. With fulvum you know it can work, just a matter of luck and persevering. The first objective was to get enough seeds and you achieved that, so Bravo!

        • Silverleaf
          Silverleaf commented
          Editing a comment
          Pea x runner bean? Interesting! I’d never have thought of that.

          I think you’re right, the fulvum cross will take eventually if I just keep trying. It’ll be worth it when it does! No rush.

          There must be lots of good genes in fulvum that will be great in a hybrid. It’s certainly not shy about making pods - I got loads of seed from one plant despite the fact that pods only have one or two seeds each. Plenty to share with you!
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