Green Peas vs Sweet Peas: 8 Differences You Need to Know 

Green peas are well known as a snack or a cooked dish. For many people, it is the only known type of peas. But there are other kinds of peas other than the green type.

Such a thing might lead to some common confusion. Both are vines with some apparent similarities. Recently, planting sweet peas is becoming a trendy choice.

If you are curious about the differences between green and sweet peas, keep reading this article. We will dive deep into their distinctions and essential characteristics in this comparison.

Green Peas vs. Sweet Peas
The main differences between Green Peas and Sweet Peas are their origin, uses, pod color, pod size, flowers, toxicity, mature size, and taste. Both plants have pods and seeds, but Green peas are green, whereas Sweet peas are black.

What are Green Peas?

Green peas are often eaten as a starchy vegetable but do not belong to the vegetable family. The scientific category for green peas is “fruit.” Technically, green peas grow from flowers, which is why they are considered fruits. Green peas are scientifically known as Pisum sativum and grow inside pods.

As a member of the legume family, it is rich in nutrients. It contains high levels of fiber and natural starch. Also, it can provide your body with zinciron, and vitamins E and C. Green peas can be eaten and cooked fresh or frozen. Also, you can consume fresh peas without any cooking.

Due to the variety of vitamins and nutrients, green peas have countless health benefits. You can eat young green peas and enjoy their pleasant and slightly sweet taste. This is the right type of green peas to be consumed as snacks. However, older peas lose their pleasant flavor and are better cooked.

What are Sweet Peas?

Unlike green peas, sweet peas are not edible. Still, this type of pea is a vine plant grown for its flowers. Its flowers are lovely and come in various colors. You can find it in pink, purple, or red.

On some rare occasions, the flowers can be white. In addition to their cute appearance, these flowers have a lovely fragrance. Despite all these beautiful qualities, sweet peas are not safe and toxic.

The botanical name of sweet peas is Lathyrus odoratus. This plant was originally found in Italy but is currently cultivated worldwide. It is a present element in decorating various indoor and outdoor gardens. It grows as a climber, and the plant can reach a height of 2.5 meters.

So, sweet peas are an ornamental plant not used as a source of nourishment. Still, it is categorized as a part of the legume plant group. It also grows in pods like those of green peas.

However, the pods of both types of peas can be easily distinguished through their sizes and colors.

What are the Differences between Green Peas and Sweet Peas?

Sweet peas and Green peas should not be confused with one another. Green peas are sometimes called English peas or snap peas.

Sweet peas do not have any famous common names. Additionally, the appearance of both types is different. So, if you spend some time around them, you will easily detect their differences.

1. Origin

The origin of both types of peas is different. Despite their widespread use worldwide, they originated in different parts of the world. The origin of green peas is unknown, but sources indicate two different origins.

Some sources show that green peas originally came from the Middle East, while others suggest they came from Southeast Asia. Either way, it is far from Italy, which is the origin of sweet peas.

2. Uses

The uses of green and sweet peas are different. The primary purpose of growing green peas is eating, while sweet peas are grown as decorative plants.

Aside from cooking them in various ways, you can eat green peas fresh and raw. Green peas are also sold frozen to be cooked later. Sweet peas, on the other hand, are not meant for consumption.

3. Pod color

The pod colors play a huge role in the green peas vs. sweet peas comparison. If you pay some attention to the seeds of these two types of peas, you will find a notable difference in their shades.

Sweet peas have darker seeds, usually black. The pods and seeds of green peas are typically green.

4. Pod sizes

The pods of green peas are larger than those of sweet peas. The same thing applies to the size of the seeds. Additionally, the pods and seeds of green peas are wider and thicker.

5. Toxicity

Green peas are not toxic at all, regardless of their variety. On the other hand, sweet peas are poisonous and unsafe for humans and pets.

6. Flowers

Green and sweet peas are both flowering vines. Sweet pea flowers, on the other hand, are more noticeable and prized. They are colorful and fragrant, whereas those green peas are white without a noticeable fragrance.

7. Mature size

Both plants grow in the same way, as they are climbing vines. However, they do not end up being the same height. Usually, sweet peas grow taller than a few varieties of green peas.

The average size of mature green peas ranges between 1 and 1.5 meters. On the other hand, ripe sweet peas can reach a height of 2 meters.

8. Taste

Although sweet peas are toxic and unsafe for consumption, they have a sweet flavor. On the other hand, the taste of green peas is less sweet. It tends to be more on the starchy side. 

Even young green peas are less sweet than sweet peas.

Green Peas vs Sweet Peas: Are they the same?

No, green and sweet peas are not the same. They are both types of peas and are categorized as legumes. Also, they have similar pods in terms of shape.

Additionally, they produce tendrils to climb on. Yet all this does not make them identical. Further differences make each of them a unique type of pea.

Green peas are meant to be eaten, whether fresh, frozen, cooked, or raw. Sweet peas are not edible, as they are toxic. Green peas originated in Southeast Asia or the Middle East, whereas sweet peas originated in Italy.

Green peas are full of nutrients, while sweet peas are cultivated for their ornamental flowers.

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