DavidHoffman's picture

110420 wrong tomato

Observed: 20th April 2011 By: DavidHoffman
110420 wrong tomato

Tghis is a tomato from a Stoke Newington corner shop. When cut open the seeds found to be germinating inside the fruit. I've never seen this before. Is it as unusual as I think?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Garden tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) interacts


anonymous spotter's picture

This happens -

When the natural germination-inhibiting enzymes in the seeds start to break down.
It should happen naturally when the seeds are exposed to the air and cool temperatures (which would happen when the seeds were excreted by whatever ate the tomato).
If it happens inside the fruit, this suggests that it has been kept in cold storage for some time.
Some varieties are more prone to it than others, apparently. I found a web site that discusses it, but my web browser is set to report tracking cookies, and that site has the full set! So I won't cite it for you.

Vinny's picture

Interesting, but you might consider...

...finding a horticultural/consumers forum to post this on. iSpot is intended for natural history subjects rather than produce. BTW though I've not seen it with tomatoes, I have seen other seeds germinate while still in their pods. What it probably shows is that you might want to mention to the shop that their supplies ain't exactly fresh! ;)
Kind Regards

DavidHoffman's picture


The long cold storage possibility seems likely - it's a long turnover small shop. They probably buy in bulk and store for ages.

It's odd how absolutely inedible the sight of the sprouting seeds make the fruit. We couldn't cook it last night, just too yuck! And I'm not a fussy eater. I posted the pic on Facebook and the comments were all of the 'disgusting!!!' kind.

I'm not sure if there could be something behind that reaction. Tomatoes are related to potatoes, any green part of a spud is said to be poisonous and the sprouting seeds do have a green part (must be light getting through the skin and flesh). So maybe sprouting tomato seeds are better not eaten.