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Cross pollination - and shameless promotion

Posted by Rathos 7b PA (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 6, 12 at 19:54

I'm curious first about cross pollination when growing different varieties in proximity. someone said to me that she grew a small yellow tomato somewhere in her plot and that the characteristics ended up spreading during the same year, messing up her other varieties... is that possible?

for the promotion - since it's a little slow, I wanted to recommend some off-topic reading material. The title is "Fates Warning: Provenance" and I'll just say I'd be very keen on hearing what people thought of the book =)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cross pollination - and shameless promotion

no not possible as for off topic that is not allowed

RE: Cross pollination - and shameless promotion

Below I've linked to a great FAQ from here at GW, the link to the FAQ's are at the top of this first page.

But to answer your question more directly, yes, I have known that single variety can mess up many but never ALL other tomato plants by cross pollination.

It happened to a good tomato friend who got what was called Maine Berry, a small yellow, from an ad in the now defunct National Gardening magazine and it turned out to be a currant variety, S. pimpinellifolium. The magazine ran an apology after it was known.

But it's known that only about half of the currant varieties, some named, some not, have what are called exherted stigmas so insect pollinators can land on those stigmas and X pollinate other non currant varieties and/or can land on those currant varieties that have the normal position of pollen bearing anthers above the stigma and pick up pollen.

But a friend who knows the situation well with currants says he's more concerned with his regular tomatoes X pollinating his currants, so there you go.

If you go to Johnny's Selected Seeds and look at the info for the variety Matt's Wild you'll see that it's described as being a cerasiforme, which means it's a half domesticated variety. Domestication of tomatoes led to retraction of the stigma so it was below the anthers. So what Johnny's is saying is that there isn't much of a problem with Matt's Wild b'c of what I just described.

I have no idea what the book is about and as was just said, off topic material like that belongs in Conversations, link at the top of the page, not here.

Hope that helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: GW FAQ on cross pollination

RE: Cross pollination - and shameless promotion


I appreciate the response. I just found the off-topic area (though i couldn't find anything labeled "conversation"). I had been wondering if/where there was one here, but hadn't found it =) I suppose "Garden Party" is the right place?

At any rate, your expertise is always welcome.


RE: Cross pollination - and shameless promotion

Am I misreading the original post? I thought Rathos was referring to the tomatoes produced in the SAME SEASON as the small yellow tomato being messed up. If so, I was under the belief that such an occurrence was impossible...that only the seeds, and therefore the fruit the FOLLOWING year, would be changed.

RE: Cross pollination - and shameless promotion

she grew a small yellow tomato somewhere in her plot and that the characteristics ended up spreading during the same year, messing up her other varieties... is that possible?

...... is what was said and I assumed it was seed saved from the varieties grown the same season that the small yellow one had X pollinated that season, and if so then yes, it would only show up with saved crossed seed.

But I'm also wondering how the small yellow one was known to be the culprit. With accidental crosses one knows the female parent but not usually the male parent without doing one heck of a lot of grow outs to genetically find a clue as to what the male parent was.


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