Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/1999
Publication Date: 9/1/2000
Citation: Fery, R.L. 2000. 'green pixie', a small-seeded, green cotyledon, cream-type southernpea. Hortscience. 34(4):954-955.
Interpretive Summary: White Acre is the leading cream-type southernpea variety used by the frozen food industry. Traditionally, White Acre peas are harvested when fresh to produce an exceptionally high quality frozen pack. However, the efficient utilization of modern harvesting equipment requires that the peas be at a relatively dry stage of maturity for harvesting, and this has resulted in the loss of the fresh green color that is characteristic of a high quality processed product. About nine years ago, an effort was initiated at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC, to incorporate into White Acre-type peas a newly discovered gene conditioning the green seed color in dry peas. These efforts resulted in the March 1999 release of Green Pixie. The new variety can be harvested at the dry stage of maturity without loss of the pea's fresh green color. Results of extensive field testing indicate that the yield potential of Green Pixie is equal to that of White Acre. Green Pixie is the first cream-type variety with a green dry seed color to be developed that yields peas that are similar in size and shape to White Acre peas. Green Pixie is recommended for trial as a replacement for White Acre when grown to produce mechanically-harvested peas for a frozen pack.
Technical Abstract: The USDA has released a small-seeded, cream-type southernpea cultivar that is homozygous for the gc gene conditioning the green cotyledon trait. The new cultivar, named Green Pixie, can be harvested at the dry stage of maturity without loss of the pea's fresh green color. Green Pixie originated as a bulk of an F9 (White Acre x Bettergreen) population grown in 1994. Green Pixie has a high, bushy plant habit similar to White Acre. It produces dry pods at Charleston, S.C., in about 76 days, 5 days later that Bettergreen and 5 days earlier than White Acre. The rhomboid-kidney shape of fresh Green Pixie peas is quite similar to the shape of fresh White Acre peas, but very different from the ovate to reniform shape of Bettergreen peas. Green Pixie peas are quite similar in size to White Acre peas, but much smaller than Bettergreen peas (weight per 100 dry peas: Green Pixie, 8.0 g; White Acre, 7.9 g; and Bettergreen, 10.2 g). The results of replicated trials indicate that the yield potential of Green Pixie is equal to that of Bettergreen and White Acre. Green Pixie is the first cream-type, green-cotyledon phenotype cultivar to be developed that yields peas that are similar in size and shape to White Acre peas. It is recommended for trial as a replacement for White Acre when grown to produce raw product for a frozen pack.