Sweet Peas - a chronology
Three different 'pink' sweet peas. On the left an "old fashioned" variety. These varieties are over a hundred years old, this one is Prima Donna which was created by Henry Eckford in 1896. The old fashioned varieties have fewer, small flowers on short stems but are packed with scent. Prima Donna is the variety from which the Spencer type sweet peas arose. In the middle is a type known as 'modern grandiflora'. These are similar to the Old Fashioned but have larger flowers, more flowers per stem and longer stems. This variety is 'Emily'. On the right is a Spencer type, this one is Daily Mail. The Spencer's generally have four or five large flowers with frilly petals and long stems but less scent than the old fashioned or grandifloras. Packets of sweet pea seed are almost exclusively Spencer types. These are great for exhibition but if its the scent that you really want then try to find one of the others.