Varieties of Peas: [Characteristics and Classification]

Peas are native to the Middle East. Its consumption has spread throughout the world.

It arrived in Europe perhaps from Palestine or Egypt in the eastern European areas of the Mediterranean, an area that is considered its main center of diversification.

Peas, Pisum sativum L, belong to the family Leguminosae. They have climbing and angular stems.

There are some varieties of determinate growth and others of indeterminate growth, giving rise to three types of varieties: dwarf, medium-raised and raised-raised.

Distinctive features among pea varieties

Among the varieties of peas, the following characteristics must be taken into account:

  1. Precocity: early, middle and late.
  2. Seed shape at maturity: smooth or wrinkled.
  3. Seed color at maturity: green, yellow or white.
  4. Plant size: short or dwarf when its height is less than 0.4 m; semi climber between 0.8-1 m; climber or enrame when it is 1.5-2 m.
  5. Use of the production: pods and seeds (mangetout), or seeds for direct consumption, or for the canning and freezing industry.

Popular varieties of peas

There are many varieties of peas, among them we can mention: Negret, Volunteer, Dwarf Telephone, Television, Lincoln, Tirabeque, Asterix, Mangetout, Snap peas or sugar snap peas, Garden peas or Green peas and Field peas.


It is a variety of English origin. The plant is not very tall, it usually reaches 50-60 cm, the foliage is medium green, with 9-10 nodes at the first flower.

The pod is slightly curved, with a sharp end, dark green when green, as is the grain. The length of the pod is 8 cm and narrow – about 13-14 mm.

The number of ovules per pod is 7-9, with 1-2 pods per floor. The dry grain is semi-round in shape, with a smooth surface with very characteristic dimples, medium green color of the teguments and green cotyledons.

The size of the grains is medium-coarse, the weight of 1000 grains being approximately 240-260 g. Adapted to greenery and industry.


Variety of French origin. It is included in the early ones, but it is somewhat less precocious than Negret. Among the dwarfs it is quite tall (80-90 cm), with medium green foliage, with 11 to 12 nodes up to the first flower, the leaflets and stipules are of medium size.

The pod is slightly curved with a sharp end, dark green when green.

Likewise, the grains, long in length, usually reach 9-10 cm, medium width, 15-16 mm, generally with 7-9 grains per pod and 1-2 pods per floor.

The dried kernel is oval in shape with smooth dimpled surface, medium green translucent seed coat, green cotyledons and coarse size, about 315 g or more than 1000 kernel weight.

midget phone

Of North American origin. The cycle is semi-late, semi-dwarf tall plant (80-90 cm), light green foliage, 14-15 nodes at the first flower, large stipules and moderately spotted.

The pods are straight or slightly curved at the tip, which is also sharp, medium green when green. Like the fresh grain, the length of the pod is 10-11 cm and width of 16-18 mm, with 7-9 grains and generally one per floor.

The shape of the grain in the dry state is oval, with a rough surface, greenish cream integument, green cotyledons, with a large size, about 300 g the weight of 1000 grains.


Curved pod with pointed end, dark green color, oblong irregular grain and rough skin.


Medium height, slightly curved pod, cylindrical and rough grain.

snow peas

It closely resembles Snow peas. Its pod is flat, fine and the seeds are tiny. Spring itself. It is characterized by its more delicate flavor than the Snow pea (green bean).


Medium height, slightly curved pod with truncate end, dark green, wrinkled cylindrical grain.

Mangetout, snow peas or chinese pea

It has flat pods and smaller seeds than garden peas. Both the pods are eaten, after having cut the edges and removed the leathery veins, as well as the seeds. Its flavor is mild, almost sweet.

Snap peas or sugar snap peas

The pods are rounded, crisp and very sweet. Both pods and seeds are consumed. There are varieties with slightly leathery veins or without them.

garden peas

Also called Green pea or English pea. The pods are firm and convex and the seeds (peas) are sweet. The pods are discarded and only their content (the pea) is consumed.

They are sold fresh or frozen. Its texture becomes starchy and floury as the period of time that elapses since its harvest increases. In Spain it is the green pea marketed.

field pea

It is a dry pea, with a nutritional value similar to the group of dry seed legumes (chickpeas, beans and lentils). Once cooked they are earthier, slightly less sweet, less starchy, earthier and smoother.

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