King Tut Purple Pea
A very rare and amazing garden pea! One of the most historical peas known, this particular variety is said to have been taken out of the tomb of famed Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut. The story is that his servants planted and harvested these peas to help provide for his afterlife. Though some claim to have debunked the story, Lynn McKee’s family tradition asserts that her father received the seeds found in the boy King’s tomb, where they had been undisturbed for nearly 5,000 years until Howard Carter found the tomb on Nov. 4, 1922. From there, as the legend goes, the seeds were taken to England where they were propagated and shared with friends. “The conditions within Egyptian pyramids are very dry and would permit seed longevity in certain species to extend to thousands of years,” one document said. Some claim, though, it is likely the seeds originated in early 20th century English gardens. The Fortean Times says “It is sometimes said that Tutankhamun’s Pea originated on the country estate of Lord Caernarvon, who financed Howard Carter’s search for King Tut’s resting place and was subsequently named in honor of Caernarvon’s claim to fame, rather than the plant’s origin.” As an interesting turn to the story, we located the seed and found the story from Japanese seed collectors during our travels there. Stunning fuschia purple flowers give way to tasty, fat purple pods on strong and vigorous plants that love cool weather. This variety has proven highly productive and makes a delicious soup pea, or picked young as a purple snow pea. Try this piece of living history in your garden!
Minimum Seed Count: 60