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OneoftheEarls April 6, 2011 12:54 PM

North Star
seeking any info on this variety...I got it from Alaska

carolyn137 April 6, 2011 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by OneoftheEarls (Post 208535)
seeking any info on this variety...I got it from Alaska

Earl, I've Googled, I've checked Ventmarin and Tomodori and then started looking in some of my past Yearbooks with no results so far.

Where did you get it from in Alaska and what was the info written on the seed pack and if nothing can you not ask the person who sent you the seeds for more info?

Two suggestions.

John Holm was an amateur tomato breeder who lived in Fairbanks, Alaska and best I can determine he bred Polar Star, so maybe North Star was also one of his but if so I can't find out anything about it to date. I Googled his name to find that he died in 2005 at age 78.

My second suggestion is to ask someone who is an SSE member and is plugged into the online, which I'm not, b'c that person can then do a search for any tomato variety that's ever been listed in the YEarbooks back to probably 1975 when it first started.

Starting in 1985 the tomatoes are not listed by color, rather, by state and within state alphabetically by sse code so it's a real bear for me to do that which is why I suggest you ask someone else.

Carol Knwpp and I were discussing the variety Bobbie vs Boobie and I know she's an online person b/c she pulled up some info but I know she's also very busy at this time of the year as she just posted and I'm sure you don't need the info before sowing the seeds, or I would assume so.

And perhaps someone will come along and has found some info about it. I get my hopes up when I see a link to North Star but there's a well known pepper of the same name and that's what it turns out to be when I open the link.

OneoftheEarls April 6, 2011 05:56 PM

I got it from Sherry here at TV in a trade...IF she sees this...if not I can PM, just thought someone might some interesting varieties. I planted most already.

Sherry_AK April 6, 2011 08:48 PM

Earl -- Sorry, I thought I had given this information in a PM or e-mail. Anyway, I got a plant (upon the recommendation of a friend) from a local nursery. I tried to get information from them, but they didn't know if it was OP or hybrid (seems to be OP, as I've grown it for a couple years from my own saved seed). They had a story about seeds being smuggled out of Russia. I do suspect they might "embelish" their stories a bit though, and I imagine it is actually some other known variety. I have also searched for info on this and come up empty.

Anyway, what I know is that it is well-suited to our cool climate (I grow in containers) and gave me fruit when grown outdoors (as opposed to the greenhouse) when few other plants performed as well. It's a RL plant which produces loads of small-ish red fruit with good taste. I'd have to look back at my records, but I'd guess they average about 3 ounces. I'm trying to remember its growth habit and for now I'll say semi-det.

I hope you have good luck with it and I hope you'll post your opinion of it. I didn't start any this year, since I had so many others I wanted to try.


Sherry_AK April 6, 2011 09:44 PM

OneoftheEarls April 6, 2011 10:08 PM

Those are may have mentioned but today was the day I wrote on them and planted some I got from you....I went through a hectic flurry of trading for a

thanks again


OneoftheEarls April 26, 2011 09:14 AM
Found references from Canadian Project...seems to point to a Canadian origin but little other info.


Sherry_AK April 26, 2011 04:55 PM

Interesting. I always searched for 'North Star' (2 words).

I hope it does well for you. I'm starting to regret that I'm not growing it this year.


carolyn137 April 26, 2011 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by Sherry_AK (Post 211319)
Interesting. I always searched for 'North Star' (2 words).

I hope it does well for you. I'm starting to regret that I'm not growing it this year.


And I still go back to my earlier post in this thread b/c I think it is North Star, not one word. Googling Northstar brings up North Star and the information I gave above.

I know that Canadian source that Earl refers to and Earl knows that I know that he knows, ahem, and I would take that spelling to be the true one since there are some other creative spellings there, I think I recall.

I still think it was that fellow in Alaska who bred both Polar Star and North Star. Is it conicidence that he was looking up at the night sky when he named his tomato creations? I don't think so.:)

Worth1 April 26, 2011 05:49 PM

This tomato looks suspiciously like the Yamamoto tomato that \I spoke of a few years back.:twisted:


OneoftheEarls April 26, 2011 06:52 PM

Carolyn...kind of like my Cold Set/Coldset dilemma....although THAT source lists it both ways and that would suggest they are different :)

I was also taught to spell dilemma as dilemna...guess Latin would have been good :)

Sherry_AK April 26, 2011 07:48 PM

John Holm developed Polar Baby (which I grow every year), Polar Beauty (which I didn't care for the 1 year I grew it), Polar Star and I think Polar Gem. I've not heard North Star associated with his name. Quite a mystery this is!

Further info from, which may be where Earl found the above info, since it's there in the same format, is:

CANADA NORTHSTAR is in the Canadian gene bank collection but I have no idea what its origins are. It produces round to slightly oval red fruits, 1" -- 1 1/2" in diameter. The fruit has two locules (seed cavities), thick walls and good flavour.

The North Star I've grown is a bit larger than this.

ireilly April 26, 2011 08:25 PM

HTH - From the PGRC website, link to GRIN-CA:

Accession Query for "Canada Northstar":


Query Results for: Search string: canada northstar Include inactive and unavailable accessions Limit to first 1000 recordsCN 18017 Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum SOLANACEAE
Cultivar name: Canada Northstar.
Maintenance site: Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC). Received: 1987. Life form: Annual. Improvement status: Cultivar. Reproductive uniformity: Pureline. Form received: Seed. Record entered: 09-Apr-2000.

Accession names Type Canada NorthstarCultivar name


Material is available for distribution.

Source HistoryObservations


And the result of clicking the link for the Cooperator above (he's got 348 accessions listed!):


Ernest A Kerr
Stokes Seeds Limited
39 James Street
Box 10
St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada L2R 6R6

Source of accessions

Maybe someone will tease out more information. I'm not very patient as a DBA.


carolyn137 April 27, 2011 09:01 AM

Some good sleuthing and why didn't I think of going to the PC GRIN listings?

OK, Earl got the seeds from Sherry and Sherry where did you get them from as named North Star and not Canadian Northstar?

And is everyone confident at this point that the two are identical varieties?

Sherry, no I didn't see North Star associated with his name either, but was just suggesting that Polar Star and North Star were so close, name wise, that it was a possibility he also bred North Star.

I know Ernie Kerr best as Stokes corn breeder. But he may well have had greater responsibilities as the person that Stokes chose to submit accessions to the PC GRIN system.

Sherry_AK April 27, 2011 08:19 PM

I got a plant called 'North Star' a few years back from a local nursery. I inquired if it was OP or hybrid, and they didn't know (at least the person I spoke to didn't know). I've saved seeds and grown it for a couple years and it comes true to the original plant to the best of my observation. Any plant that can consistently produce fruit outdoors here (in containers) is a winner for me.

I'm not convinced it's the same as Canadian Northstar.


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