Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: New Milford, CT

Sprouted seeds within a tomato

:?: I harvested many San Marzano plum tomatoes to make sauce. I always dunk them in boiled water for a minute to loosen skins. As I cut one in half to remove seeds before adding them to the pot for stewing, I found that 8 of the seeds inside the cavity had actually sprouted and had a set of green leaves on top of the white stem and a root coming from the seed. I have planted these little seedlings in seed starter as I am very curious by nature. Does anyone know how this phenomenon could happen?

Full Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Jacksonville, NC

I've seen seeds starting to sprout inside tomatoes before. I never saw them form leaves though.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Its not uncommon. The seeds are mature in the green fruits by the time the color breaks, but there are gemination inhibitors in the gel that prevent in-fruit germination, and in cooler climates inhibit germination long enough so that cold weather dormancy can set in. In the tropics this is more likely a dry season thing - you don't want your seeds to sprout at the end of the growing season right at the beginning of the dry season.

There is both random and environmentally induced developmental variability, and some of your seeds just didn't get enough germination inhibitors in those few seeds. I just had some seed germinate out of a catfaced fruit during fermentation-seed extraction only two days after they were out of the fruit.

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