Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Snow Peas and Snap Peas

Snow Peas vs Snap Peas

Snow peas, snap peas, and garden peas are all different varieties of peas. They are all different types of Pisum sativum and have similar cultivation methods. Snow peas are also called Chinese pea pods, and snap peas are also called Sugar Snap peas and are a cross between snow peas and garden peas.

Snow Peas

Snow peas are also referred to as sugar peas and Chinese peas. This is the reason why people confuse sugar peas which are actually snow peas with Sugar Snap peas. Snow peas have an edible pod. They are flat, and the pea seeds are visible through the pod skins which are flat too. They are wide and have flexibility thus do not snap like the snap peas but bend easily. Snow peas are not shelled. They are eaten whole, raw, or cooked and are mostly used in stir-fry Chinese recipes. Their nutritional value is less than garden peas. They have a high vitamin C concentration and have less calories than garden peas.

Snow peas are found in two varieties, low growing and climbing. The low-growing variety is called dwarf. The pea plant does not require any external support. They grow better in climates with higher temperatures. They are harvested before they reach full maturity, while the pea seeds are still flat, if not harvested early, the pea seeds reach the size of garden peas.

Some popular snow pea varieties are: Mammoth Melting Sugar, Oregon Sugar Pod, Dwarf Grey Sugar, etc.

Snap Peas

Snap peas are also referred to as Sugar Snap peas. They were developed by Calvin Lamborn. Snap peas are a cross between the garden peas and the snow peas and were first introduced in 1979. Their pods can be eaten, and they do not need shelling but can be shelled and eaten too. They have plumper pea seeds than snow peas and are eaten as whole, cooked or raw. They are large peas and are sweet in taste.

Snap peas are climbers and require a trellis or fence to climb. It has less calories than garden peas and is lower in nutrition also. They are crunchy and sweet. Some plants are tall and thus require support. They are harvested at maturity. They are better suited to cooler temperatures.

Some varieties of snap peas are; Sugar Daddy, Sugar Ann, Sugar Snap, etc. Sugar Snap is the snap pea which was cultivated originally by Calvin Lamborn.


  1. Snow peas are also referred to as sugar peas and Chinese peas; snap peas are also referred to as Sugar Snap peas.
  2. Snow peas have an edible pod; they are flat, and the pea seeds are visible through the pod skins which are flat too. Snap peas have plumper pods than snow peas.
  3. Snow peas are more flexible than snap peas which make a snapping sound instead of bending easily.
  4. Snow peas are more suited to higher temperatures; snap peas are cultivated in cooler temperatures.
  5. Snow peas are harvested before reaching maturity; snap peas are harvested at maturity.
  6. Snow peas have low-growing as well as climbing plants but do not require support; snap peas are tall plants and require support.
  7. Snap peas are a cross between garden peas and snow peas.

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1 Comment

  1. Great reading and input to that question in my head that needed to know at planting time. Now this resolved snap and Chinese pea issues. Love both varieties.

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