Lathyrus odoratus 'King Edward VII' is a highly scented heirloom sweet pea, a grandiflora type that was introduced by Henry Eckford in 1903. Deep Crimson with three flowers per stem. Taller and stronger growing that most grandifloras and impressive to behold with its deep crimson blooms. Strongly scented too.
In 1995 Lathyrus odoratus 'King Edward VII' was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Germination of sweet pea seed is often quicker and more uniform if the seeds are soaked in water for 24 hours prior to sowing. This also enables you to identify any seeds with hard coats, which fail to swell during this period. These should have the seedcoat nicked with a small file to enable them to take up water. A temperature of 18 to 20°c will give rapid, even germination. As soon as the seedlings have emerged, they need to be grown as cool, and with as much light, as possible.
If you have a reliable source of John Innes seed compost, or for spring sowing John Innes No 1 potting compost, these will be eminently satisfactory for sweet peas. J.I. Nos 2 & 3 are too strong for seed sowing and should be avoided. We use a good quality peat based seed compost which has given consistently good results.
Sowing: Sow in Autumn to Early Winter into rootrainers or long thin pots.
Push 2 well spaced seeds about 2.5cm below the compost surface. When roots fill rootrainers, pot on two seedlings into a 2 litre pot. Pinch out the tips when plants have 3 or 4 pairs of leaves. Over-winter undercover in a light, cool place.
Plant out - 2 plants to a vertical - in a mild spell in March. Tie them in every week to encourage straight stems. Can also be sown in Mar/April and planted out in April/May
Sweet peas can also be sown direct into the open ground where they are to flower. The best time for this in the UK is mid March to early April, depending on the weather and the locality. Sow 2 to 3in apart, about 1 to 2in deep and thin the resulting plants to an average of 6 to 8in apart. Slugs and mice can be a real problem on a direct sown crop, so take suitable precautions before you sow.
Sites for Sweet Peas:
Choose an open site which gets plenty of direct sunlight, but which has some shelter from the worst winds. Avoid planting close to an established hedge or where there will be competition from tree roots.
Young seedlings can be prone to disease if over watered, but once the crop is in full growth, a copious supply of water is needed. A well prepared site will pay dividends by having considerable reserves of available moisture. It is essential to encourage early establishment and a strong root system if high quality flowers are to be achieved.
Feeding: Balanced fertilisers are safest, particularly tomato feed. Never apply heavy dressings of fertiliser to weakly growing plants - invalids need gentle coaxing back to health. Foliar feeding can be useful for plants with root problems, but frequent sprays of very dilute fertiliser will be needed to have a significant effect.
Flowering: Autumn sown in late May. Spring sown in early summer.
Keep picking as often as you can. Flower production: 2 to 3 months Vase life: 4 to 5 days
Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 to 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. He was the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was renamed the House of Windsor by his son, George V.
Before his accession to the throne, Edward was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, until surpassed by his great-great-grandson Charles, Prince of Wales, on 22 April 2011.
Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 10 March 1863. Edward was 21; Alexandra was 18. During the long reign of his mother, Queen Victoria, he was largely excluded from political power and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite.
He was regarded worldwide as an arbiter of men's fashions. He made wearing tweed, Homburg hats and Norfolk jackets fashionable, and popularised the wearing of black ties with dinner jackets, instead of white tie and tails. He pioneered the pressing of trouser legs from side to side in preference to the now normal front and back creases, and was thought to have introduced the stand-up turn-down shirt collar.
The tradition of men not buttoning the bottom button of waistcoats is said to be linked to Edward, who supposedly left his undone due to his large girth. His waist measured 48 inches (122 cm) shortly before his coronation. He introduced the practice of eating roast beef, roast potatoes, horseradish sauce and yorkshire pudding on Sundays, which remains a staple British favourite for Sunday lunch.
The Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including powered flight and the rise of socialism. Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet, the reform of the Army Medical Services and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. Edward fostered good relations between Great Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called 'Peacemaker.'
- Additional Information
Packet Size 2.5 grams Average Seed Count 30 Seeds Family Leguminosae Genus Lathyrus Species odoratus Cultivar King Edward Synonym Heritage / Heirloom Sweet Pea Common Name Grandflora Sweet Pea. 1903 Other Common Names sweetpea Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers June through September Height 200cm (6ft) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Full sun, Partial shade Soil Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry Notes Time to plant seeds: September to May