Green DixieFirst Green Blackeye Pea By
August 10, 2000
Scientists at the Agricultural
Research Service have released a new pea variety that is the first green
Green Dixie Blackeye produces excellent yields of peas that can be
harvested dry and still retain their fresh green color.
ARS geneticist Richard L. Fery and colleagues at the
Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., developed Green Dixie Blackeye.
It can be eaten fresh, frozen by home gardeners, or dried for storage and sale
by the food industry.
Seed of Green Dixie Blackeye has been offered to over 240
commercial seed growers and food-processing companies so they can increase
supplies. The new variety should be available to growers for the spring 2002
The scientists developed Green Dixie Blackeye over a 10-year
period by crossbreeding Bettergreen, a large cream-type green pea, and
Bettergro Blackeye, a high-yielding popular blackeye-type pea. In 3 years of
trials, Green Dixie Blackeye out-yielded top-producing Arkansas Blackeye #1 in
15 of 30 tests.
When harvested as dry peas and stored, Green Dixie Blackeyes make
an attractive dry pack. Dry peas can be restored to their fresh-harvest seed
size and green color by soaking them in water for 1 hour and then blanching
them in boiling water for 3 minutes. Similarly treated, Bettergro Blackeye peas
are a cream color.
Green Dixie Blackeye produces dry pods in about 71 days. Each pod
produces about 14 peas. The dry peas resemble Bettergro Blackeye but are
somewhat larger. Like Bettergro, Green Dixie Blackeyes have small, black eyes.
Breeder's seed will be maintained by ARS' U.S. Vegetable
Laboratory in Charleston. Genetic material for developing new cultivars is
available through the National Plant
Germplasm System maintained by ARS, the chief scientific agency in the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Scientific contact: Richard L. Fery, ARS
Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, S.C., phone (843) 556-0840, fax (843)