sweet peas

 

Fancy Sweet Peas

Introduction

There are several types of sweet pea flower which are classified as "fancy". These comprise the picotees, the stripes, the flakes, the marbles and the bicolours. Picotees are further divided into normal and wire rim, while bicolours include the recently bred reverse bicolours. Each has a distinctive pattern of markings which characterises it, the details of which are illustrated below.

Picotee

The simplest form of fancy sweet pea flower is the picotee. This is characterised by a thin line or band of colour round the edge of each petal. This can be a very narrow clearly defined line which gives us the wire rim picotee or, more commonly, a broader more diffuse band.

normal picotee sweet pea 'Anniversary' wire rim picotee sweet pea 'Albutt Blue'
Normal Picotee Wire Rim

Stripe

The stripe pattern is quite distinctive in that the pigmentation is predominantly on one face of each petal. Spots and stripes of pigment radiate from a central blotch, and each petal exhibits a strong picotee edge.

stripe sweet pea 'Olive D' stripe sweet pea 'Lilac Ripple'
Sweet peas with stripe pattern

Flake

Flake sweet peas have pigment equally distributed on both faces of the petals. Flakes and stripes of colour contrast with a white or cream ground with great variation in pattern between plants and even between individual flowers on the same spike.

flake sweet pea 'Susy Z' flake sweet pea 'America'
Flake sweet peas