Re: [tomato] Chinese Red Lantern Tomatoes?

ChuckWyatt/Md/Z7 (
Tue, 23 Mar 1999 23:46:46 -0500

Hi Dave,

I think we are talking about two different things.  I don't mean the usual
tomatillos which are such a wonderful ingredient in salsa but the
Lycopersicum Pimpinellifolium (sp) which exudes clouds of pollen and is
infamous for crossing with the open pollinated varieties that seem to be
regaining popularity. Research at Seed Savers Exchange's Heritage Farm in
Decorah, Iowa indicates that tomatoes with inverted styles rarely cross
more than 4%.  The potato leaf varieties have exerted styles and tend to
cross more easily.  These are often block planted and the seed fruit taken
from the center of the block, giving the bee a chance to wipe his feet as
he enters the block.<G> There is a redeeming factor there, however.  The
potato leaf gene is recessive so if a regular leaf is seen on what should
be a potato leaf seedling, that one can be rogued out.  I do find a few
ocasionally and advise folks to just discard such seedlings and be assured
that what they have left are pure. I have over 400 open pollinated tomato
varieties in my collection and guard against cross pollination at every

As far as cross pollination is concerned, it only shows in the offspring
and is of no consequence unless the tomato is used for seeding.  I hear
that there is a bit of difference in peppers but I won't presume to get
into peppers.  This is a tomato list, anyhow.  I do understand that peppers
cross much more easily than tomatoes, as your last post seems to indicate. 
Howard Essl, a friend who has one of the most complete pepper collections
worldwide, uses cages to thwart crossing but still finds problems there.

BTW, thanks for the tomato seed.  I'll give it a try this summer.  It's
nice to see a "pepper man" visiting the tomato list.

Good gardening,
Chuck Wyatt