Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The pinkeye-type of southernpea is an extremely popular item in home gardens throughout the southern United States. Most southerners refer to them as "field peas". The sale of field pea seed stock to home gardeners probably exceeds the sales of seed stock to commercial growers. Field peas grown for home use are traditionally harvested by hand when the pods are filled, but before they start to dry. Dry pods often are not harvested because the peas no longer exhibit a fresh green color. About eight years ago, an effort was initiated at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC, to incorporate a newly discovered gene conditioning the green cotyledon trait into the traditional type of field pea grown by home gardeners. These efforts resulted in the August 1998 release of Petite-N-Green. The new cultivar can be harvested at the dry stage of pod maturity without loss of the pea's fresh green color. Except for the green cotyledon trait, Petite-N-Green is quite similar to the field pea cultivars traditionally grown by home gardeners. Not only can Petite-N-Green peas be harvested fresh for immediate consumption or storage in home freezers, but they can also be harvested when fully dry and stored as a attractive dry pack. The dry peas can be removed from storage and imbibed to restore a near-fresh green color.
Technical Abstract: The USDA has released a small-seeded, full season, large vined, pinkeye-type southernpea cultivar that exhibits the green cotyledon trait. The new cultivar, named Petite-N-Green, produces excellent yields of small, delicate peas that can be harvested at the dry stage of maturity without loss of the pea's fresh green color. Petite-N-Green originated as a bulk of an F9 (Coronet x Bettergreen) population grown in 1994. Petite-N-Green is homozygous for the gc gene that conditions the green cotyledon trait. The unique combination of plant habit, maturity, and seed traits should make Petite-N-Green more appealing to home gardeners than the recently released pinkeye-type, green cotyledon cultivar Charleston Greenpack which was developed for the frozen food industry. Petite-N-Green has a more procumbent vine than Charleston Greenpack; it also produces dry pods four to seven days later and its peas are 11.5 to 20.5% smaller. A typical Petite-N-Green pod is moderately curved, 14 cm long, and contains 14 peas. Fresh peas are ovate to kidney shaped and have a pink eye. The dry peas have a smooth seed coat. Results of replicated spring and summer field tests conducted during 1996 and 1997 indicate that Petite-N-Green yields are comparable to Charleston Greenpack yields.