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  • Writer's pictureSweet Pea Specialists

Lathyrus x hammettii - Colour Changing Sweet Peas!

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

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 have noticed this with both Blue Shift and Porlock where there were some with different coloruing.

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."


One of our Porlock plants demonstrating the possible result of these shifting genetics.

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.

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.

Below - Blue Shift is the most popular of the Lathyrus x hammettii cultivars..

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