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Open-pollinated vs. Hybrid Seed

seeds op_hybrid image Open-pollinated varieties produce seed true to type if they are allowed to cross-pollinate only with other plants of the same variety. If they cross with other varieties of the same species, their seed will not come true.

Hybrid varieties are those produced from the crossing of two different inbred lines. Seed saved from hybrid varieties will not breed true in the next generation.

Amongst open-pollinated plants, self-pollinated (selfers) usually reproduce by using their own pollen. Crossers usually reproduce through the transfer of pollen from one plant to a different plant of the same species.

Botanical nomenclature goes from the general to the specific. Plants are classified into kinds by genus, species and variety. In Cucurbita pepo Sweet Dumpling, Cucurbita is the genus, pepo is the species and Sweet Dumpling is the variety.