Cultivated Pisum is dominated with Pisum sativum subgroup, but P. sativum var.abyssinicum (Dekoko) is a unique subgroup developed and cultivated in Ethiopia. The objectives of the study were the characterization of the accessions using three qualitative traits and understanding the genetic diversity of the crop. Twenty-four (24) accession/local collections of Dekoko collected from South Tigray and North Wello by Alamata Agricultural Research Centre were planted in three replications of the Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) at Mekhan farmers’ Training Centre in Endamekhoni in 2010. Characterization of the accessions by three qualitative traits viz., flower color, seed size and seed shape had revealed the existence of high genetic diversity of the population (H’=0.84, 0.95, 0.98, respectively, with mean H’=0.92) implying that the crop can be improved through breeding. The distribution of the various categories of the three qualitative traits (flower color, seed shape and seed size) was independent of region and altitude. Clustering of the accessions by qualitative traits produced seven distinct clusters which did not classify the accessions according to regions or Weredas, but according to three altitude classes.
Key words: Characterization, Dekoko, Pisum sativum var. abyssinicum, accession/collection.