This is a fun little plant. Originating in Holland, it produces deep purple flowers on bright green, dwarfed vines.
The flowers then produce even deeper purple pods. Last year I grew green peas and I missed a few pods during harvesting. It’s hard to miss the peas on these plants because they definitely stand out.
While they technically do not require staking, I found mine definitely benefited from some support. They grow to be between three and four feet tall, which I discovered is enough to be knocked flat in a heavy wind. They’re hardy little plants though, and after being propped back up they continued to thrive and produce a few nicely sized crops.
Here’s a close up. This is definitely a really cool little plant.
Most of the pods were solid purple, but there the occasional green or mottled pod does pop up. When saving seeds make sure you choose the ones with the best purple tones.
The inside of the pods and the peas themselves are green.
After shelling them it felt like such a waste of all the anthocyanin in the shells to simply compost them, so I tried blending those up with a bit of water then straining out the pulp to create a dark purple juice. I have no idea if this is actually okay to do, and it tasted a bit like grass, but I regret nothing.
They’re not really ideal for eating fresh, as there’s not a huge amount of flavour and some definite starchiness. They were pretty tasty when lightly steamed, but their main appeal is in the novelty colour and compact vine size making them great for container gardening. I will likely continue to try new peas varieties, but I’ll probably always plant at least a few of these.