Until a few years ago, the Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) was a relatively unusual garden plant in that it behaved as a pure inbreeding species and all the variations we saw in the modern Sweet Pea arose as mutations. In contrast, most other ornamental garden plants owe their variation to characteristics derived from one or more related species within the same genus. Even today most Sweet Pea cultivars are pure breeding L. odoratus. Crane and Lawrence in their book 'The Genetics of Garden Plants' 1938, provide a table giving the date of the first recording of known major mutations of the Sweet PEa.
The term "Flake" dates back to the early florists, who like readers of this publication, were enthusiasts, not sellers of flowers in the sense that we use the term florist today. Rather perversely Flake denotes that a darker colour appears as stripes on both surfaces of the standard and wing petals. ...
Dr K.R.W. Hammett is a private professional plant breeder based in Auckland New Zealand.
He has developed the grounds of his 4 ha property as an arboretum and the site of numerous plant breeding programmes (including Amaryllis, Arthropodium, carnations, Chrysanthemum, Clivia, Cosmos, dahlias, Dianthus, Helianthus, Lathyrus, Mimulus, Nemesia, Petunia, Polyanthus, Sandersonia, and Zantedeschia).
To date more than 300 fully commercial cultivars have been produced. Many of these have been exhibited and marketed overseas. He has close working relationships with the Auckland Regional Botanic Garden, the University of Auckland, Unitec Institute of Technology, and other Research Institutes. Keith has written numerous articles for horticultural publications worldwide, authored books and produced scientific papers.
Our sweet peas are all grown on supports as opposed to let grow along the ground. By growing on supports any 'off types' can be removed and not allowed to set seed, allowing for only premium blooms.
Over the last 25 years, we have developed wonderful sweet pea cultivars that combine the weather tolerance and fragrant perfume of old-fashioned types with Spencers larger blossom size and beautiful ruffled form.
By buying direct from the breeder you are buying mother seed, carefully harvested by hand. In addition you have the opportunity to obtain new cultivars well before they become more widely available.