Sponsored Content

Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!

Recent Entries
Absent Friends
GnuBreed 2024
Captain Hate 2023
moon_over_vermont 2023
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info:
maildrop62 at proton dot me
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups

Thread below the Gardening Thread: April 1, 2017 [KT] | Main | Ace of Spades Pet Thread
April 01, 2017

Saturday Gardening Thread: Wild Genes [KT]


Challenges in bringing great tomatoes to market

Spring has started, and bees are spreading pollen. So I thought this would be a good time to talk about genes.

Earlier in the week, CBD wrote a post on Norman Borlag, an American hero. Remember not to comment on old AoSHQ threads, no matter how interesting they are. Norman Borlag favored what we call "modern genetic engineering".

Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms (breeder of the tomatoes in the photo above) does not use modern genetic engineering. He often looks for genetic mutations and chance crosses in his tomato fields, in addition to conventional breeding work. He produces tomatoes with interesting flavors and colors. As noted at the link under the photo, he faces several challenges from the natural world in getting a crop to market. Gardeners face similar challenges at home, particularly with heirloom and other open-pollinated tomatoes.

Supermarket tomatoes are generally hybrids with greater resistance to disease and weather variability. But their flavor and texture are unsatisfactory. So how did supermarket tomatoes get to be nothing much more than a color, and what are the challenges to improving them?

This post and the video it includes explain some of the reasons that supermarket tomatoes are tasteless and rubbery. As noted in the video, even though scientist now know in many cases exactly what went wrong, they are using old-fashioned methods to correct the problems. Because people are afraid of "genetic engineering". And note the importance of "tomato puberty".

There is a germplasm collection at UC Davis that includes 9 wild tomato species and a bunch of other interesting tomato genetic material. Might come in handy to scientists using old-fashioned methods to improve new tomatoes. Researchers at Oregon State University and in Israel have already grown blue tomatoes by cross-breeding wild tomatoes with domestic tomatoes. Work continues to produce a tomato with blue stripes I have grown a "blue" cherry tomato. Not my favorite. Have you tried one of the "blue" tomatoes?

Bengal Tiger.jpg

Work is ongoing in the UK to produce a GMO blue tomato that's blue all the way through. There are some other interesting GMO organisms out there, too.

Photos from The Horde that trigger random content

Here's more on Oregon wildflowers from Kindltot:

One of the later lilies is the Cat's Ear, or Mariposa Lily, Calochortus subalpinus. My books tell me this is only found on the Cascade side of the valley, but they are found up around Dallas, there is an old cemetery that has a mowed bank where they grow.

Random content: I had no idea that there was a Dallas, Oregon. It is in Polk County, so the city was named after Polk's Vice President, apparently. The main city park there includes the Delbert Hunter Arboretum and Botanic Garden, dedicated to the wild plants of Oregon. There is a creek running through the arboretum that floods sometimes. And they also have fires. Might not be a good idea to try this at home. Even if your yard is "natural".


Controlled Burn at the Arboretum

Dallas was the childhood home of Johnnie Ray. I did not know who he was before this week. But some people did.

Johnnie Ray was completely different from anything that went before him. . . . I consider Johnnie Ray to be the father of rock and roll.--Tony Bennett

He reportedly enjoyed hiking around Dallas with his sister when he was growing up. He became partially deaf at 13 as the result of an accident at a Boy Scout event.

In the early 1950s, Johnnie Ray was arguably the biggest musical star in the world. His emotional singing and sexually suggestive performances earned him the titles "The Prince of Wails," "The Cry Guy," and "The Million Dollar Teardrop," and put him at the top of the music charts. From Sydney to Chicago to London, teenage riots erupted wherever Ray went.

He lost popularity in the USA with the assent of Rock and Roll, but had a successful performing career in the UK and even Australia as he grew older. What does this say about the legendary stiff British upper lip? Here he is singing with The Four Lads about a little white cloud that cried. Those little clouds try so hard.

Back to Kindltot:

I have found Cat's Ears on sunny banks and on road cuts. Apparently they are edible also, but they are not numerous. These and the trilliums were my Mom's special delights.

40 cat's ear.JPG

Cat's Ear

I think that flower is utterly charming. Random content: It looks like a hairy Sego Lily, the State Flower of Utah. Early Pioneers ate Sego Lily bulbs when cricket decimated their crops. The California Seagull is the State Bird of Utah because the bird ate crickets. A brand of evaporated milk was named after sego lilies.


You can see the resemblance between Sego Lilies at Arches National Monument and Kindltot's photo. Genetics: "Yucca and aloe used to be in this family. The family is extremely complex. Some ornamentals and medicinally useful plants are in this family, but a few species are poisonous."

There are many species of Calochortus native to the Western United States. The Pacific Bulb Society has photos and/or descriptions for 68 species. Plus growing tips.

The diversity of Calochortus species is reflected in the wide range of English common names applied to the flowers. Unfortunately, the common names do not align cleanly with the scientific subsections above. But here is a quick guide:

Mariposa Tulips are large, upright, bowl-shaped flowers, often with intricate color markings and sometimes hairs. Calochortus venustus is an example.

Pussy Ears or Cat's Ears are small, upright flowers with very hairy tepals. Calochortus tolmiei is an example.

Globe Tulips or Fairy Lanterns are nodding, roughly spherical flowers. Calochortus amabilis is an example.

Star Tulips are small, upright flowers that resemble miniature Mariposas, although they usually have fewer markings. Calochortus uniflorus is an example.

I recommend looking around their site if you like photos of unusually marked flowers close up. There are other sources of information on this genus, too.


Sagebrush Mariposa Lily

Back to Kindltot again:

This lily is the False Solomon Seal, Smilacina racemosa. They grow in large batches if they can. They are fairly large plants as they can come up to mid thigh. It is not terribly pretty in the Spring outside of the froth of white flowers, but in the Fall the leaves turn golden and are very lovely. In one spot I found a patch that flanked a deer path and I would walk right through it.

34 solomon seal.JPG

False Solomon's Seal

Kindltot's description makes me want to visit Oregon in the fall.

Genetic science complicates things again. My 2007 edition of the Sunset Western Garden book alerts us to a change in botanical nomenclature of this plant to the genus Maianthemum:

Botanists have recently brought two familiar Western natives together under this single genus name. Both are woodland plants that need loose, rich, slightly acidic soil to look their best.

The genus has also been placed in the asparagus family. The other garden plant in this genus is "False Lily of the Valley", M. Dilatatum, which is hardy into Alaska. Its flowers look a a lot like those of False Solomon's Seal but the plant only grows 6 to 8 inches high. Real Solomon's Seal and Lily of the Valley both have dangling flowers rather than frothy flowers.

Gardens of The Horde

I haven't forgotten Illiniwek's request for deer-resistant plants that could provide some winter interest. Not evergreens. Russian Olive is very tough, Maybe too tough in some places. It is banned in some states. It could attract birds in winter. It can be pruned to show off its picturesque bark in winter. Its non-thorny native counterpart, which is shorter, is E. commutata, or Silverberry. There is a selected form (that may not be quite as hardy) called 'Coral Silver' for the color of its fall berries, and a hybrid with Russian Olive called Quicksilver. We'll keep looking for deer-resistant trees and other plants.

A deer-resistant shrub with winter interest is Kerria Japonica. Flowers retain their color best in part shade. I like the single-flowered ones. There is a large-flowered one called 'Golden Guinea'. The green branches are used in winter arrangements in Japan. Prune heavily after bloom. A new variegated form may be more tolerant to both heat and cold. Check at the bottom of the page at the link for other selections, including one with pale yellow stems striped green in winter.


Golden Guinea

It's weed control season here in the San Joaquin Valley. Especially in the outskirts of towns. Tractors are in evidence, disking up vacant lots before The Authorities act. Cotton planting has started out in the fields. Our rosemary is still blooming and still attracting bees.

Anything going on in your garden?

Hope you have a great week.


Mariposa on a flower

p.s. If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

at g mail dot com

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 12:13 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Commissar Hrothgar (hOUT3) ~ This year in Corsicana - [b]again[/b]! ~ [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]You guys , this is genius ! Posted by: runner ..."

runner: "AI game me some helpful tips for identifying troll ..."

Commissar Hrothgar (hOUT3) ~ This year in Corsicana - [b]again[/b]! ~ [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]It gives structure to the rest of the day Post ..."

Kindltot: "[i]RNC Research @RNCResearch KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: ..."

Commissar Hrothgar (hOUT3) ~ This year in Corsicana - [b]again[/b]! ~ [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "304 Not a bad change for a low effort Horde respo ..."

Cicero (@cicero43): "There's a fix for that. That fix is simple, effici ..."

Commissar Hrothgar (hOUT3) ~ This year in Corsicana - [b]again[/b]! ~ [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]Do you have a tardy slip signed by at least one ..."

Puddleglum, cheer up for the worst is yet to come: "[i]293 Funny, I thought we have been troll free fo ..."

Gorgeous George Orwell: "In a time of universal bullshit, trolling is a rev ..."

NaCly Dog: " Commissar Hrothgar Do you have a tardy slip si ..."

jimmymcnulty: "Not to be gross or rude, but have all leaks in thi ..."

Braenyard: "277 The Hill @thehill "Republicans would cripple ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64