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Parthenocarpic courgette

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  • Parthenocarpic courgette

    I'm growing Pathernon F1 courgette this year and have been quite impressed at the earliness and reliable cropping, they taste pretty good too. I'm planning on growing some earlier again next year in the polytunnel as I think they should do well. They are quite expensive though, the pack I have was £2.99 for 5 seeds, but I likely had them in a special offer when they would have been a pound, which is still quite dear for 5 seeds. It got me to thinking as the plant puts out a fair amount of male flowers too, they are not like an all female type cucumber, but are able to self pollinate if pollen is available? I'd like to have a dabble at growing out some F2's next year and also making a couple of crosses this season.

    I'm assuming/hoping a parthenocarpic habit is a passable trait that I can select for whether crossing or stabilizing? I'm growing a couple of types of Cousa courgette as I love the taste of the white ones, I'd like to use these to cross with Parhernon, although a shorter cut might be to use Cavilli as it is another parthenocarpic type but with white fruit. If I wanted to use Cavilli I'd have to sow now. Would it be better to cross these two, or use the two non parthenocarpic types with Parthenon?

  • #2
    Sorry, I know nothing about specifically parthenocarpic courgettes, apart from the fact that all types of squash (pepo, moschata and maxima) have been parthenocarpic here. The female flower is easily tricked into thinking that pollination has taken place, but I ended up with seedless squashes. Happens with cucumbers too of course. Number of times I handpollinated, grew a nice looking and well storing squash, then cut it open in January or February to harvest seeds and there were none, is legion. Any late handpollinated fruit usually goes that way unfortunately. Which means that to some extent they all have it and perhaps it is not a 'yes or no' type of trait, but all a question of degree. It would help to know how Courgette Parthenon was bred. Maybe it was bred by selection?


    • #3
      I don't know much either and would agree squash and cucumbers are able to make fruit without seed, usually when you want them with seed! But these are consistent in their production, whereas my experience of courgette/squash and cucumbers is often they will drop fruit if it hasn't been pollinated well particularly early in the season and as they got down to producing female flowers from the start it got them into early production.

      I wish I'd grown them years ago, they are on my list for next year, but I've still got that urge to have a mix and see what happens. Plus I hate spending £2.99 on 5 seeds!


      • #4
        I've put a couple of Cavilli seeds to chit, one is sprouting so looks like my impromptu project is in progress. I'm not quite sure if I want to save seed or make some complicated F1's?

        Parternon courgette continue to pump out fruits and haven't failed to set one. White Volunteer and Trieste White are struggling somewhat to form viable fruits. I know they are younger plants but I'd be hoping they'd be starting to earn their keep, they are not.


        • Galina
          Galina commented
          Editing a comment
          Hmm - 60p a seed for Parthenon, but they produce like crazy? Maybe the economics is not so bad, but a cross (and adaptation to your growing conditions) would by definition be preferable. And more fun as an experiment.

      • #5
        True, but an F1 used in making an F1 is likely to be messy, crossing two F1's will be all over the place