The Q&A Archives: Differences Between Open-Pollinated

Question: I heard that the seeds that Burpee sells cannot or do not go to seed because they're hybrid. Is this true? If so, where can I get seeds that produce their own seeds? John Maxwell Cerritos, CA

Answer: I think what you are referring to is the difference between "open-pollinated" varieties vs. "hybrid" varieties. Hybrid plants do not necessarily produce seeds that grow "true-to-type". That is, the offspring plants may not look or taste just like theirparent plants--in fact, they can be quite different. If you want to save seed from your garden plants, look for varieties not listed as "hybrid" --generally, hybrid varieties are described as such in the descriptions. If the word hybrid is not in the description, chances are it is open-pollinated. If you want to be sure, call the company to ask about a specific variety. One company that specializes in just such open-pollinated varieties is Seeds of Change; their number is 1-888-762-7333 (toll-free).

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