Tomato Petals

Tomato Plant Petals and Sepals

One of the interesting characteristics of tomato plants is that their flowers are not only different in size, depending on the variety, but also different in the number of sepals each variety has.

The sepals are the green slender leaves growing above or behind the petals.

Tomato Flower Sepals

Counting the sepals on my plants last season, I found that seven is about average but there are ten on a Brandywine (as in pic) and the lowest I’ve counted was six on a Tumbling Tom. It would be interesting to find out which variety has the fewest and the most sepals!

This makes me wonder why, when there are so many different tomato varieties, why are all tomato flowers yellow?

If you know the reason please leave a comment below!

3 Responses

  1. Gregory Ed
    | Reply

    Aside from yellow being the most attractant to bees, the major insect pollinator of tomatoes, my guess is that no one has an interest in the color of the tomato flower as long as it provides the necessary mechanism for pollination. If someone wanted multicolored blooms that could probably be selected at the expense of the fruit.

  2. Geoff Gostling
    | Reply

    I’ve been given 3 tomato plants by a friend this year and I notice there are only 3 sepals on tomatoes on just one of the plants. He doesn’t know what it is, just says that they were ‘strays’ growing in his garden.
    The treble sepal formation isnt artificial looking and the 3 sepals form a ball round the tomato until it is about 10mm in diameter, then curl back to reveal the growing tomato.
    I’d appreciate any informaion as well!

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Geoff,
      That’s very unusual!
      It could be that they were seeds from an F1 hybrid and they don’t grow true to type as an F2. You can get all sorts of abnormalities from second generation seeds until about F6 then the seeds become stable again.

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