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Old August 20, 2013   #1
Tom Wagner
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Default Rey Humberto or King Umberto

PI 131880
.
Rey Humberto.
An Italian variety imported from Italy but collected 1939 in Argentina.

I used this variety in breeding lines back maybe fifty years ago from the tomato
collections. I was using the San Marzano variety quite a bit in crosses and I
wanted similar kinds to use. I don't even know if any of my lines using it are even
viable anymore.

Fast forward to today. I used what I think is the same variety KING UMBERTO
in a cross to my Flaming Burst. Flaming Burst is a Flamme x Verde Claro OP that
has tear shaped gold cherry tomato fruits. The hybrid between FB and KU might
be kinda interesting. Using varieties such as Rey Humberto or King Umberto
which probably date back to the late 1800's, may be of interest to some gardeners.

My pollen plant of King Umberto has some crosses on it but it is too soon to give
my readers here any information about it. Maybe someone could chime in.

,
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Old August 20, 2013   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wagner View Post
PI 131880
.
Rey Humberto.
An Italian variety imported from Italy but collected 1939 in Argentina.

I used this variety in breeding lines back maybe fifty years ago from the tomato
collections. I was using the San Marzano variety quite a bit in crosses and I
wanted similar kinds to use. I don't even know if any of my lines using it are even
viable anymore.

Fast forward to today. I used what I think is the same variety KING UMBERTO
in a cross to my Flaming Burst. Flaming Burst is a Flamme x Verde Claro OP that
has tear shaped gold cherry tomato fruits. The hybrid between FB and KU might
be kinda interesting. Using varieties such as Rey Humberto or King Umberto
which probably date back to the late 1800's, may be of interest to some gardeners.

My pollen plant of King Umberto has some crosses on it but it is too soon to give
my readers here any information about it. Maybe someone could chime in.

,
http://t.tatianastomatobase.com:88/wiki/Roi_Humbert

Tom, this is a variety that Bill Minkey got from a huge trade with Norbert in France in 1992. Others who participated were Joe Bratka, Craig L and myself.

I grew it back then and didn't like it at all. The skin was very tough and taste was not memorable at all.

In that huge trade we were able to get many new varieties and all of them were SSE listed so lots of folks had access to them,

Jaune Flammee was one of them. I don't know if that's the same as the Flammee that you mentioned above, b/c there is a mixup with the word Flammee being used in different contexts.

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Old August 20, 2013   #3
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Quote:
The skin was very tough and taste was not memorable at all.
Thanks, Carolyn, I suspected that there would be many reasons not to grow an old variety but if I can bring in the tender, sweet, and flavorful elements of my Flaming Burst into King Umberto...so much the better. An F-1 hybrid may be sufficient but I'll bet that an OP derived from the filial levels of the cross could be obtained to meet our modern standards of excellence.
Quote:
Jaune Flammee
That is the one I used, and it seems I want to drop the Jaune and the final "e" on Flammee. If I do a freetranslation.com on flame to the French it comes out flamme. I keep forgetting how to type the accent mark on Flammée.

If I get a good cross or OP out of the combination of Flaming Burst and King Umberto I could call it Flaming Umbursto. I dunno, but I really feel that many of these old "so yesteryear" varieties need to be recycled into new clones. Keeping the classic shape of the fruit is a possibility, but modify the other traits that are demerits.

If there are other growers of this variety does it look like this:

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Old August 20, 2013   #4
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Originally Posted by Tom Wagner View Post
Thanks, Carolyn, I suspected that there would be many reasons not to grow an old variety but if I can bring in the tender, sweet, and flavorful elements of my Flaming Burst into King Umberto...so much the better. An F-1 hybrid may be sufficient but I'll bet that an OP derived from the filial levels of the cross could be obtained to meet our modern standards of excellence.

That is the one I used, and it seems I want to drop the Jaune and the final "e" on Flammee. If I do a freetranslation.com on flame to the French it comes out flamme. I keep forgetting how to type the accent mark on Flammée.

If I get a good cross or OP out of the combination of Flaming Burst and King Umberto I could call it Flaming Umbursto. I dunno, but I really feel that many of these old "so yesteryear" varieties need to be recycled into new clones. Keeping the classic shape of the fruit is a possibility, but modify the other traits that are demerits.

If there are other growers of this variety does it look like this:
So you haven't yet grown King Umberto?

When you do please tell me which traits are so great that you'd want to cross it with something?

So you want "ancient varieties" as in pre-1800 ones. If so start out with Green Gage, named after the venerable English plum of the same name.

I once had accent marks of all kinds, I mean key strokes for same, written on a piece of paper. Haven't see it in about 20 years.

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Old August 20, 2013   #5
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Quote:
So you haven't yet grown King Umberto?
The plant I have is in a pot and I used the flowers early for pollen and did not allow any to set fruit and the later blooms that I crossed are just now growing well. I will look at them today to see if the shape is what I remember from the 1960's
Quote:
When you do please tell me which traits are so great that you'd want to cross it with something?
Quote:
Old English rhyme ("Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe"), and the four objects that the plant breeder adds to his breeding lines or carries with him on the big day of making a cross are just good luck charms
Yeah, the good luck charm of using tomatoes that might be old, new, borrowed, blue, but the Sixpence is left out. Oh, Wait! I could name a tomato Sixpence and include it in the breeding scheme!

No, I would not think King Umberto to be so valuable by itself. However, there is always hope that there is something there besides the name. There is a magical element of "Yesteryear, Today, and Tomorrow" of tomato breeding.


Quote:
So you want "ancient varieties" as in pre-1800 ones. If so start out with Green Gage, named after the venerable English plum of the same name.
Carolyn, do you know of anyone who has varieties bred from Green Gage? I have the seed of Green Gage in my inventory but have not considered it directly for breeding.

The Plant Introduction series of Humberto type tomatoes are from Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia from 80 years ago. Was it distributed around the world because of the Italians or was it desired for a trait we lost track of? I am afraid we don't grow these old varieties for quality reasons but I would like to bring back part of the old critter under a new hide.
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Old August 20, 2013   #6
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Tom, I grew King Umberto/Humberto/Humbert whatever a few years ago from seeds from a SSE member. Mine had distinct points on the bottom, not sure at this point if they are supposed to be there, but they were mentioned in the yearbook by the member I got seeds from. Others listing have not mentioned points, but say plum shape. Reinhard-Kraft site picture has them as round looking.

I didn't think the flavor was so bad, and would grow Humberto in preference to a small Roma type, with which the fruit are similar to in size. As I remember, it was a very productive plant. Here are what mine looked like -





I grew them when I was looking for the oldest versions of modern tomatoes that I could find, but who knows what changes have crept in through so many years.
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Old August 20, 2013   #7
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I've been doing some Googling b'c I have this memory of the Brits bringing this variety to Africa, possibly the Belgians as well, when many areas of Africa were colonized.

I have a good lead on that. I also found out that the variety was first introduced by a Naples Seed Co in 1878 which doesn't quite jive with Vilmorin saying it was introduced in 1865.

I still have to check some back SSE YEarbooks b'c something it telling me that I too got it from an SSE memeber, and not Bill Minkey.

When I figure out what info I have, I'll share.

Tom, I know of no one who has used Green Gage in crosses, Actually I know of few who have even grown it.

Finally, I saw several sites saying that King Umberto is a pre-1800 variety, which I know is not true.

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Old August 20, 2013   #8
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Thanks all for the information provided.

I took another look at the Humberto tomato accessions with the PI numbers.

The one I got years ago from Argentina was pear shape. The accessions from Bolivia and Brazil are round. The old saying, "A rolling stone gathers no moss" sure doesn't apply to tomatoes...the more they travel...the more they pick up other germplasm. My hunch is that the original Humberto was pear shape.

I found more crosses in the tomato patch where King Umberto was used as the pollen parent. I was so busy all afternoon picking crosses that I did not take the time to visit the single plant of King Umberto I used for crossing. I had gotten this plant from my friend Taryn so I will ask her what vendor she bought the seed from.

Most of the tomato fruits I picked today with crossing tags are from pollination made 7 weeks ago.
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Old August 20, 2013   #9
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SHOCK

If I'm reading the French correctly, others who know French better than I do can confirm that when I put up this link, I just found out that it originated in the US and was named in honor of Roi Humbert/Umberto, whatever, King of Italy.

OK, I have to stop this obsession of finding out more about this variety, but it's making more sense that Norbert in France sent it to us in that huge trade in 1992/

Now I MUST go to bed and stop looking at different websites and Google, at least until tomorrow.

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Old August 21, 2013   #10
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I think that tomato King Umberto is Italian tomato.
„The "Tomato Piennolo Vesuvius DOP" includes old cultivars and local biotypes united by morphological and qualitative characteristics more or less similar, the selection of which has been cured in the decades by the farmers themselves. The names of those landraces are the popular ones assigned by the same local producers, such as "Fiaschella", "bulb", "Patanara", "Principe Borghese" and "Re Umberto", traditionally cultivated for centuries in the same area of origin.“
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Old August 21, 2013   #11
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The story of King Humbert is even more interesting than has been posted here so far. It is an old Italian variety selected and named after King Humbert and listed by Vilmorin in 1885. It was lost in Italy but survived in a U.S. seed bank where it was resurrected and carried back to Italy in the mid 1950's. Since then, it has crossed the water back and forth a few more times. It is used as a Piennolo tomato in Italy today along with Lampedusa, Fiaschella, and Principe Borghese.

If you want to have fun with Italian tomatoes, there are a few names worth mentioning. San Marzano, Costoluto Genovese, Principe Borghese, King Humbert, Christopher Columbus (a re-named Italian variety), Borgo Celano, and the Piennolo del Vesuvio that Craig Lehoullier got from a friend's visit to Italy.

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Old August 21, 2013   #12
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Umberto was King of Italy from 1878 to 1900
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Old August 21, 2013   #13
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Again, I'm not so sure that the variety Roi Humbert originated in Italy and I hope to get those links up sooner than later/

I said I wanted to check some back SSE YEarbooks, and I have checked them and found some additional information.

Chiswick, was the name of Roi Humberto in England. I've checked that out, and it turns out that it was known in many European countries, as well as the US very early on.

Checked my Vilmorin book but also Fearing Burr's book as well. And have worn out my Google link.

I'm finding this a bit difficult since the variety was expressed many ways, from Konig Umberto to Rey (Re) Humbert or Umberto, well, many different ways.

I still need to check out the Michigan Bulletin of 1939. I know what I want, its on page 47 but right now I can't FIND page 47 and that's b'c the pages are loose and not in order and from time to time I'm looking for this or that variety and mess them up.

Just b'c King Umberto ruled in Italy for a short time does not necessarily mean that the variety originated there, as I mentioned above.

Carolyn, who will also put up a link or two showing that it was the British who did take it with them when they colonized South Africa. Bit of a kerfuffle with Cecil Rhodes about the area first known as the Congo.
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Old August 21, 2013   #14
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I think, that Italian from downhill of Vesuvio wouldn´t be assent with you.
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Old August 25, 2013   #15
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I can't believe I just lost a very long post that related to a link that I put up. I went to get another link and lost everything.

So let me see what I can recreate.

http://ventmarin.free.fr/passion_tom...ates_rj_rr.htm

Scroll down to where you see Roi Humbert and a series of catalogs. Note where it says a pre-1800 variety and originated in the US and named for the King of Italy.

Then click on the various catalogs to see what was written, and note that it was known as Chiswick Red in England early on.

And in the 4th catalog grown in Naples in 1912.

Then look at the timeline dates in order.

The question is, to me, what was being grown in the US pre-1800 that could have been named in the US at that time. There were many Italian immigrants who came to the US pre-1800 and no doubt they brought seeds with them, and the shape of Roi Humbert is "roma" shape and it would make sense that someone wanted to honor the King of Italy from their home country and named an unnamed roma that was brought to the US.

So yes, originated in the US as a named variety, but probably from Italy as an unnamed roma variety brought to the US by Italian immigrants.

And widely distributed in many countries early on as we also know happened with many other varieties.

Also note in listings below the one with catalogs that white and yellow and pink versions of it were reported and where they were reported from.

Christian Lemaire, who owns Ventmarin, is a superb researcher and obviously has a strong interest in Roi Humbert.

Are there errors at the site in descriptions? Yes, some that have been found but primarily when he had to get info from others.

No way am I going to go fetch another link and possibly lose this post.

I apologize for not getting back here earlier, but surgery is this week, the Feds have still not sent my tax rebate where it should be sent, saying due to sequestration and eliminiation of many IRS agents, had to deal with transferring money from my retirement account, complex, and then lots of other stuff.

Happy reading.

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