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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

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Old April 13, 2011   #1
OneoftheEarls
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Default Big Rainbow, Striped German, Flame, Pineapple, Virginia Sweets

In the book "Vertical Gardening" by Derek Fell, on page 180, he claims that Big Rainbow is aka Striped German, Flame, Pineapple and Virginia Sweets.

SSE lists them as different.

How do you all feel about this statement?

I do not believe they are identical, but they do have similarities.

Earl
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Old April 13, 2011   #2
lurley
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I've been wondering that myself. Have grown hillbilly and pineapple and this year am growing flame, virginia sweets, big rainbow, hawaiian pineapple along with them just to see if there is any difference.
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Old April 13, 2011   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneoftheEarls View Post
In the book "Vertical Gardening" by Derek Fell, on page 180, he claims that Big Rainbow is aka Striped German, Flame, Pineapple and Virginia Sweets.

SSE lists them as different.

How do you all feel about this statement?

I do not believe they are identical, but they do have similarities.

Earl
All one has to do is to look at the histories behind them to know they aren't the same.

There are probably close to 200 red/gold bicolors listed in the SSE YEarbooks but again, just knowing when and where from and by whom a variety was introduced can ID them, certainly not by appearance since so many look alike.

I should say something about Flame, though.

There's Jaune Flammee which is not a bicolor but when I sent it to Linda at TGS I forgot to put the Jaune in front so she listed it as Flammee initially, I think, and then akaed it as it should be when she had room to do it.

But when it comes to Flame, that's a totally different story.

When the Olympics were held in LA Renee Sheperd introduced a gold/red bicolor which she called Olympic Flame. It was a selection made by Patty B at Seeds by Design from a common existing gold/red bicolor so Renee could rename it that.

The Olympic Comm said she couldn't use that name so she changed it to Old Flame and that morphed into just Flame. So the same variety exists under three different names.

When I first saw Hillbilly ( Flame) that made no sense to me and still doesn't and I have no idea who first did that and it shouldn't be perpetuated b'c Hillbilly is NOT the same as Flame.

Got it?
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Old April 13, 2011   #4
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Yes, Carolyn, I have seen your explanation about Flame but never a claim that Virginia Sweets is Big Rainbow and/or Striped German...etc.

He is aware of SSE as he discusses it in his book.
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Old April 14, 2011   #5
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Yes, Carolyn, I have seen your explanation about Flame but never a claim that Virginia Sweets is Big Rainbow and/or Striped German...etc.

He is aware of SSE as he discusses it in his book.
Earl, aside from Flame, as I said above one can distinguish Big Rainbow and Striped German and Virginia Sweets according to when they were first listed in the SSE YEarbook and by whom and when.

He may be aware of SSE but is he an SSE member so he can view the YEarbooks online and get the backgrounds ASAP or has his own copies of the Yearbooks? I know he's not a listed member but could be an unlisted one but if that were true he'd still have access to the information about varieties.

I would assume, but don't know b/c I didn't check, that Tania has such information at her website.

No one can ID a variety without that information since so many of the gold/red bicolors look the same at maturity. The only one I know that is a bit different is Mary Reynolds since the seconday exterior color goes all the way to the top and when full ripe the fruits look almost red. And of course there's a few PL bicolors thrown in as well.

Other than the kind of background info that's needed, that I mentioned above to distinguish one variety from another, the only other way is with DNA sequencing and I don't see that happening anytime in the future.

Of the ones you mention above the only ones I remember without checking are Big Rainbow which was introduced many years ago by Dorothy Beisweger of MN and she was the source of my initial seeds and so noted in my book. I also had to do some background checks on Hillbilly. b'c I was wrongly credited with the PL version of it in the SSE public catalog a few years back and gave SSE the name of the correct person on that one.

As I recall, and just checked, Virginia Sweets was first offered by SSE itself in the 2000 Yearbook and has an accession number, so that one was sent directly to SSE and not first listed by an SSE member as does happen from time to time in which case there's usually no background information. I could dig out my 2000 Yearbook and see who donated it if SSE noted that but that wouldn't help. It was Neil L who first got it from SSE directly from that SSE 2000 liting and brought it forward and listed it in the YEarbook.

Neil has a special interest in gold/red bicolors and I remember one time going thru all my old seeds to find the variety Indian Reservation for him b/c he just had to have it.

Yes, I know who Derek Fell is, as a garden writer from PA who is usually published by Rodale Press.

Edited to add as I prepare to go back to bed, if he knew what the variety Flame really was he wouldn't be equating it with the others, so I doubt that he did much background checking before making the claims that he has and knowing Rodale Press as I do I doubt that anyone editing that book would be doing much fact checking.
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Old April 18, 2011   #6
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I would suspect that if we did the requisite DNA testing, many of the red/yellow bicolors are very, very, very similar, if not nearly identical.....I've grown loads of them. A few that stood out as being distinct are Marizol Gold (foliage is distinctly darker bluish green than many of the others), Mary Robinson's bicolor (young seedlings are just pathetic looking before they gain strength and get going), Selwin Yellow (regular leaf foliage is distinctly larger and rather unusual looking). I could see little to no difference between Georgia Streak, Indian Reservation, Ruby Gold, Pineapple, Regina's Yellow, Hillbilly, Mortage Lifter Pesta Strain, Armenian, and Yellow Brimmer. Not to say that there may have been some minor distinctions, but not enough to tell....for sure, the fruit were similarly sized and similarly very mild (tending to if not flavorless, not my type of flavor).
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Old April 18, 2011   #7
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Derek Fell is an ornamental guy for the most part. I suspect that for a large majority of the gardening public these varieties are close enough to be considered the "same." But, as the saying goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
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Old April 19, 2011   #8
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Derek Fell is an ornamental guy for the most part. I suspect that for a large majority of the gardening public these varieties are close enough to be considered the "same." But, as the saying goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Which is why I made the comment to Earl about Fell in my above post.

Craig, no doubt DNA sequencing would show a large degree concordance between varieties but I'm sure also some differences. And you've pointed out the same ones I would have in terms of some differences.

Some are family heirlooms and came from spcific places and it's hard for me to assume that Dorothy Beiswinger's Big Rainbow might be the same as perhaps Burracker's Favorite, to give one example. And then there are those that arose by cross pollination and are more recent such as your two Luckies as well as the Pesta one.

BTW, it's Selwyn Yellow, not Selwin, I just couldn't help myself.
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Old August 25, 2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortyonenorth View Post
Derek Fell is an ornamental guy for the most part. I suspect that for a large majority of the gardening public these varieties are close enough to be considered the "same." But, as the saying goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
fortyone, you left out the two best "close" ones: washers and slow dancing.
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Old August 26, 2011   #10
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Are you all talking about "that old yellow German tomato that grandpa grew from seeds he got from that there one-eyed fellow up in Copperhead Holler?"
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Old June 16, 2014   #11
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Great thread!

I have both Virginia Sweets and Old German in the garden this year and at this point would have to say that the plants look totally different from one another (my two VSs have identical foliage where the OG is much darker foliage and differently shaped leaves.

Can't wait to try the finished maters! I am not a big tomato-eater (I eat lots but in other things like sauce so taking a bite out of an uncut tomato is not something I could do) so the milder flavour of the bi-colours (I think Craig's word was 'bland') makes it just right for me.

Just my 2 cents worth! Iron Pete
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Old June 2, 2015   #12
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Originally Posted by IronPete View Post
Great thread!

I have both Virginia Sweets and Old German in the garden this year and at this point would have to say that the plants look totally different from one another (my two VSs have identical foliage where the OG is much darker foliage and differently shaped leaves.

Can't wait to try the finished maters! I am not a big tomato-eater (I eat lots but in other things like sauce so taking a bite out of an uncut tomato is not something I could do) so the milder flavour of the bi-colours (I think Craig's word was 'bland') makes it just right for me.

Just my 2 cents worth! Iron Pete
Yes , great thread that was suddenly dropped about a year ago.

I came across this in Google search , the reason being I happened to be growing Big Rainbow. I also visited several seeds sellers sites. But the info there has been just like what you find on the seed packet.

Now that I am here, I would like to find first hand information from those who have grown BR in the recent past and/or growing it this season, so that we can trade notes during the season.
Well, of course, other variety names in the opening post would also be interesting to talk about in terms of growing, productivity, taste and other particulars about them.
The history and genetics, DNA already discussed enough already, I think. Personally, I am not qualified to get into that. Neither am I interested about it. However, the topic is open for those interested.

Gardeneer
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Old June 2, 2015   #13
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Yes , great thread that was suddenly dropped about a year ago.

I came across this in Google search , the reason being I happened to be growing Big Rainbow. I also visited several seeds sellers sites. But the info there has been just like what you find on the seed packet.

Now that I am here, I would like to find first hand information from those who have grown BR in the recent past and/or growing it this season, so that we can trade notes during the season.
Well, of course, other variety names in the opening post would also be interesting to talk about in terms of growing, productivity, taste and other particulars about them.
The history and genetics, DNA already discussed enough already, I think. Personally, I am not qualified to get into that. Neither am I interested about it. However, the topic is open for those interested.

Gardeneer
The thread was not suddenly dropped at all. Like all threads it came to an end b'c there was nothing more to say.

You wrote:

(Now that I am here, I would like to find first hand information from those who have grown BR in the recent past and/or growing it this season, so that we can trade notes during the season.)

I'm having a bit of trouble deciding how any more input about Big Rainbow would be needed after all the info earlier in this thread as well as many more threads here about gold/red bicolors including Big Rainbow available for a simple search.

I have a hard time understanding why you would want someone who had grown it in the recent past, not sure what recent means, so that you can get their opinion about it'

What I do know is that you have a penchant for reviving older threads not so much here so far, but elsewhere where you post a lot of revivals.

But of course, any one interested can post as you mentioned above,

Carolyn
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Old June 2, 2015   #14
Gardeneer
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@ Carolyn,

I have already explained my intention , in my post. So I won't repeat it.
I like reviving some threads that its subject matter is not "Personal issue" and it does not get old or expire by time..
I like doing that better than wasting server space and starting a new one.
This is my preference, whether you understand it or not. I hope you don't mind.
I ask you this question one more time : WHAT IS THE HARM HERE ?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
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Old June 13, 2015   #15
Deborah
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Gardeneer, are you Seysonn?
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