... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tomato: Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium X 'Angora' F2

I can't take credit for starting this line - many years ago, some little bee must have done the original cross. The last time I had grown red currant tomatoes was some time back in the mid 1990's. So last year (2010), not really expecting my old seeds to be viable, I gave them a try anyway. To my total surprise, I think nearly every seed germinated. Among the seedlings was a wooly one - obviously from pollen of the 'Angora' tomatoes I'd also grown so many years ago. In addition to having wooly foliage, the fruit size was definitely bigger than the pea-sized currant tomato siblings. Even so, the fruits were slightly smaller than an average cherry tomato. The fruits pictured are from F2 seedlings planted this year. I intentionally chose these three fruits because they were larger than the rest. They have a different shape too - broader than tall. Two of these fruits had three cells (seed compartments) and the other one had four cells. They all ripen to a intense, dark red and have pretty good flavor. I like the idea of incorporating the currant tomato flavor and disease resistance into my tomato lines but the reduction in fruit size is not so easy to breed back out. Maybe some selection for size in this "wooly pimp" [garden name] line would be a good idea before I cross it with my others. Meanwhile I'll just try to appreciate it for being a good cherry tomato.

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