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Old 08-02-2010, 07:56 PM   #1
Dick Shannon
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Default Double blossoms, fused fruits

I have John Baer tomatoes growing from seeds purchased from SSE. Many of the early flowers were huge compared to ordinary tomato flowers.

Now I have multiple fruits that look like the result of double or triple blossoms that fused together. From the bottom they are really ugly, at the stem end they don't look too bad.

At least one of my other tomatoes has something like this happening.

What causes it? or is it particular to that variety?

Thanks in advance, Dick
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:54 AM   #2
carolyn137
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Originally posted by Dick Shannon:
I have John Baer tomatoes growing from seeds purchased from SSE. Many of the early flowers were huge compared to ordinary tomato flowers.

Now I have multiple fruits that look like the result of double or triple blossoms that fused together. From the bottom they are really ugly, at the stem end they don't look too bad.

At least one of my other tomatoes has something like this happening.

What causes it? or is it particular to that variety?

Thanks in advance, Dick
Fused , aka fasciated blossoms, are actually quite common as early blossoms on many varieties. They seem to be especially common with PL varieties.

And yes, they give rise to lobed, sometimes ugly fruits which are just fine to eat but lack fruit beauty, as it were.

I don't know if there's a documented cause for such blossoms but it has been suggested that since they appear on early fruits that they might be the result of blossom formation when temps were on the cool side.

If you save seeds it's best to save seeds from fruits from single blossoms since in one large fruit that resulted from fused blossoms there's a better chance of having Cross pollinated seeds. That is if you don't bag blossoms to help ensure seed purity.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:01 AM   #3
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On the flip side doubled blossom fruits can be your friend if you are trying to raise fruit for one of those "biggest tomato" contests, as they can sometimes combine the mass of two (or more) tomatoes into one "fruit" On the other hand they can actually cause some problems in harvesting for eating; unless both of the flowers get thier pollen at the same time, you can get into a situation where the two sides of the fruit are ripeneng at different rates and you wind up with a fruit where half has to be discarded either for being unripe (if you pick for the older side) ot overripe (if you wait till the younger side ripens up)

Actually I've sometimes wondered if this doubled flower trait may be part of how larger fruited tomato strains have come to be over the generations. The base (wild) tomato fruit has only 2-3 ovaries whereas many of the larger ones can have 12 or more. Based on some of the tomatoes I've seen it occurs to me that some larger tomatoes may have resulted from tomatoes whose doubled flowers fused even further until you had a tomato flower with the stigma, style and corolla of a single fruit attached to the ovaries of what were orginally several.

About ten years ago, just after I got back from colledge (and in fact, the first time I seriosly started growing heirlooms) I planted seed from a small flattened red heirloom tomato I had picked up at a farmers co-op (I'd guess it was Ceylon going only by the shape)The resultant plants from that tomato had fused flowers in manners like I had never seen before There were a few single and few "classic" doubles but it also threw out triples, near doubles (flowers where the petals were joined but the styles were still discrete) and practically every variation you can think of. One plant even threw out a form of Doughnut tomato, where the flower grew an extra calyx (the "green thing" on the top of the fruit) out of the middle of the flower so that the resultant fruit was a sort of ring of tomato flesh with a tomato stem growing out of the middle.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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To the OP, if you find this problematic, you can always remove double blossoms from your tomato plants as they are growing so the plant will focus on more 'normal' fruit shapes.
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:09 AM   #5
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Originally posted by blueadzuki:
. . . unless both of the flowers get thier pollen at the same time, you can get into a situation where the two sides of the fruit are ripening at different rates . . .
Here's a photo of a tomato that ripened at different times.

Can someone explain more about "multiple ovaries," etc. Is that why some tomatoes have 3 lobes, some have four, etc.?

I was imagining something like a squash blossom in which (I thought) there was only one ovary. But it appears it's more complicated.

Thanks in advance, Dick
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:04 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Dick Shannon:
Here's a photo of a tomato that ripened at different times.

Can someone explain more about "multiple ovaries," etc. Is that why some tomatoes have 3 lobes, some have four, etc.?

I was imagining something like a squash blossom in which (I thought) there was only one ovary. But it appears it's more complicated.

Thanks in advance, Dick
Dick, there's only one ovary/blossom and that ovary has many ovules in it and when those ovules are fertilized by pollen ( seeds to be), that starts the process of fruit formation.

But when there are fused blossoms you can end up with one large ugly looking fruit that then has in it seeds that came from self pollination as well as seeds that were cross pollinated, which can then show you something like the fruit picture you show, with different lobes having different colors.

Here's a link to a good site, if I haven't given it before, that shows a nice drawing of the anatomy of a blossom, and there's lots more info at this site which is Keith Muller's site:

http://www.kdcomm.net/%7Etomato/index.html

The drawing of the tomato blossom is with the other information about how to cross tomatoes.
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:51 PM   #7
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Originally posted by carolyn137:
Dick, there's only one ovary/blossom and that ovary has many ovules in it and when those ovules are fertilized by pollen ( seeds to be), that starts the process of fruit formation.

.
Oh yeah sorry about that I said "ovary" when I should have said "locule"
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