15 April 2015

Semi-leafless or hypertendril coloured peas

The hypertendril or semi-leafless trait in peas exhibits extensive tendril formation when some of the leaves on normal peas are replaced my tendrils. The smaller leaf area on the plant allows for more air movement, supposedly reducing damp-caused diseases. Another bonus is the plants are relatively self-supporting, particularly if one f the dwarfing genes is also involved. This is an advantage to the home gardener - and farmer - since there is no need for extensive trellises.
An added bonus reported on the Mudflower blog is the reduced need for supplemental watering.

Damien from Mudflower really likes Lacy Lady, a dwarf or semi-dwarf green shelling pea of good flavour, exhibiting the semi-leafless trait, and was kind enough to send me some of his seed which I crossed to one of my yellow podded snowpea lines. Unfortunately is was only an F3 line of yellows, which went on to exhibit considerable variability in my community breeding project growouts, so not the perfect parent, but it was the only thing flowering at the time. I subsequently grew out the F1 seed of the Golden Spring F3 X Lacy Lady cross to yield a couple of hundred F2 seeds.
Today I've soaked 100 of these seeds.

The plan is pot these on when they germinate, then look for semi-leafless which shows up after the first couple of leaves, and cull anything not semi-leafless. Theoretically I should get about one quarter = 25 semileafless plants, of which one quarter = 6 should be yellow. With a bit of luck, one quarter of these should have some reduced fibre (one of the two snowpea genes), but it seems unlikely, unless the ghost of Mendel is smiling upon me, that I would get a full yellow semi-leafless snow at the F2 generation. Here's hoping.


  1. Great idea. I am trying 'Novella' for the first time just for the novelty value but I can see the value of leafless snowpeas, and coloured ones would be amazing. I will be impatiently waiting for more news of this project.

  2. Will be at least a couple of years, Rowan. The purple snows are almost ready for release - I'm doing a growout this winter to increase seed stock, and if successful, will make two lines available. So most of the garden space is taken up with seed increase. Was hopingto ge my big yellow snows bulked up as well, but no room!

  3. I've grown out (NH) Alan Kapuler's Sugar Magnolia - it is a purple snow with the hypertendril trait. Really amazing looking plants! Good luck with your project!

    1. Phila, that was my inspiration, but first I had to get a purple snow that was worth growing. Strange, the pics I've seen of sugar magnolia look normal leafed.