Pea, Wild Pea of Umbria

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  • Regular price $3.25

Quick facts

  • Rare pea on the Slow Food Ark of Taste
  • Ancient heirloom from Italy
  • Does well without much fertility

Pisum sativum

Climbing, dry pea.  You hold in your hands a living, perpetuating fossil, a piece of history. This dry pea has been grown and wild harvested since the Neolithic age by peasants and shepherds along Italy’s Apennine Mountains, specifically on the Umbria-Marche ridge. Its near disappearance in recent decades has led to its being sponsored by Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. True to its wild nature, it requires little in the way of fertility to be quite productive.  Used as a dry or soup pea.

How to grow it: 

Germ Temp

Indoor Start

Germ Days

Frost Tolerant


Seed Depth

Plant/Row Spacing


Not rec.

6-21 d.





Peas love a crowd, sow 1" apart along as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. Plant 1" deep at the base of a trellis such as a fence or net strung between two posts as vines grow tall. Allow pods to ripen and dry down on the plant.

Seed specs:  Packet size- 20 min.

Slow Food ARK OF TASTE Variety:

For it's rich history and cultural significance, this pea has been chosen to board the Slow Food Ark of Taste.  The Slow Food Ark of Taste is where "culinary heritage meets biodiversity."  Varieties placed on the "ark" are those whose rich history and cultural significance is well documented, yet whose existence is threatened simply by the lack of people growing and perpetuating it.  Varieties of crops, like species of plants and animals, can (and do) go extinct from lack of habitat and unfavorable conditions. These varieties deserve preservation not just because they each have a great story, but because the futures of our evolving food crops depend on a rich well of genetic diversity with which they can continually adapt, and be adapted by plant breeders, to thrive in changing conditions.  In the case of our food crops, the unfavorable conditions leading to a decrease in diversity are many, but one we can immediately address is the decrease in the number of people growing these crops and saving these seeds. 

A small kitchen garden really can change the world!

Check out our Slow Food Ark of Taste Package, which includes this pea.