Just look at this beauty!!
The sweet peas you are used to growing are known by the botanical name of Lathyrus odoratus. Left is a new one we are growing that belongs in the group of Lathyrus x hammettii. This exciting new hybrid is a major step forward in Sweet Pea breeding.
It is thanks to Dr Keith Hammett, who was the first person to successfully cross Sweet Pea species. Lathyrus x hammettii is a cross between Lathyrus belinensis and Lathyrus odoratus.
What is important to note with Lathyrus x hammettii is, its breeding can result in shifting genetics. We noticed this last year with both Blue Shift and Porlock.
I chatted to Dr Keith Hammett about this and this was his comment, "Still very early days with the Lathyrus x hammettii cultivars. Two distinct genomes settling down after the wedding."
Blue Shift is normally the darker photo however last year one plant produced this stunning lighter colour.
Porlock also produced a very interesting flower last year.
When this happens we do not collect these seeds to sell. We do however collect them and grow them on to see what happens.
But it important for people to be aware that Lathyrus x hammettii does have this "feature".
If any of your Lathyrus x hammettii plants produce flowers that are different to what they are meant to be and you wish to keep their seeds, please do not label them by their given name. We issue a number for these types of seeds and record their breeding on our database. By doing this we will not be causing any issues for future seed stock.
Dr Keith Hammett is also very close to breeding the first yellow sweet pea. I have had the pleasure of seeing the photos and he is truly very close. Just a matter of time.
It truly a honor and a pleasure to be stocking Dr Keith Hammett sweet peas. His breeding also includes Spencers and Modern Grandifloras. If you are interested in seeing what varieties of his we stock, just do a search on "Keith Hammett" on our website.