Q: I thought you might enjoy seeing these photos. This is a tomato that a homeowner purchased at a fruit/vegetable stand. It was not homegrown. She left the tomato sitting on her countertop for a couple of weeks.
When she cut into it that morning she found that the seeds had sprouted inside. She brought it in to our Cobb county Extension office to find out why this happened.
A: Extension horticulturist Bob Westerfield says, “I have seen this a few times before. On occasion an overly ripe tomato will have some of the seeds germinate within itself if the conditions are right.
“This usually comes from a fruit that has been harvested and been kept at very warm temperatures. The tomato acts like a mini- greenhouse for the seeds to grow.”
The phenomenon of seeds germinating while still in the fruit on the parent plant is called vivipary.
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