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What are Hybrid Seeds Exactly?

Mark Macdonald | February 04, 2020

We are often asked the question, “What are hybrid seeds exactly?”

A hybrid is created by crossing two different varieties of the same plant. Crossing involves taking the pollen from the male flower of one plant and transferring it to the female flower parts of a different plant. Once the ovary of the female flower is pollinated, it will begin to swell and form a fruit. The seeds that develop inside that fruit are hybrid seeds.

Hybrid seeds are listed as F1 types, as opposed to open pollinated (OP) types. Open pollinated seeds result from a simple sharing of pollen between two like parent plants.

Plant breeders cross varieties and record their results over and over until a formula emerges that produces consistently excellent results. This process can take years. It is an attempt to tease out the best genetic traits of both parent plants and combine them in a hybrid seed.

Hybrid varieties often feature traits like disease resistance, improved flavour or productivity, earlier maturity, and so on. Different traits are desirable for different types of crops. In very general terms, more can be expected out of hybrid seeds than their open pollinated alternatives. That said, some open pollinated varieties are so loved for their flavour or other traits that their seeds are saved from generation to generation and they become heirloom seeds.

When a hybrid tomato (for example) produces its fruits, the seeds inside those fruits will carry genetics from both, or either parent plant. That means their traits will be less predictable. For people who like to save seeds from year to year, open pollinated varieties are a better choice.

Can a hybrid seed also be CERTIFIED ORGANIC?

Find out what are hybrid seeds exactly and the definition of the term hybrid seed. If you cross two different tomatoes, the resulting seed will be a hybrid.

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Hybrid Seeds Definition

Simply put, a hybrid seed (or plant) is a cross between two or more unrelated inbred plants. The two different varieties are cross bred, resulting in a seed that carries one or more favorable traits.

Hybrid seeds are commonplace in commercial farming, especially to increase crop yields. Home gardeners thoroughly enjoy wide varieties offered by Hybrid roses. But, at the same time, home gardeners often shun hybrid seeds.

Hybrid seeds are created by natural cross breeding of varieties. It IS NOT genetically engineered seeds. See GMO Seeds.

Creating hybrids is very popular for flowers and vegetables. Most notably, Roses, Tomatoes and Sweet Corn are frequently cross bred to create hybrid varieties.

An F1 hybrid, are seeds from the first cross of two unrelated, open-pollinated plants.

Advantages of Hybrid Seeds and Plants:

There are many advantages to creating hybrid varieties.

The most common advantages are:

More vigorous plants

Improved disease resistance

more uniform plant growth

increased crop yields

New flower colors

Improved taste of fruits and vegetables

Some Popular Hybrids:

Here are some of the more popular hybrids:

Roses – thee are too many hybrid roses to single out a particular variety.

Corn – Silver Queen, is a white kernel sweet corn. This Hybrid is one of the most popular home garden sweet corns. Double Sweet, Kandy King, Kandy Korn, and many other “Extra” sweet varieties are hybrids.

Tomatoes – There is a wide range to hybrid tomato varieties. Among them is Celebration, Beef Maestro, Container’s Choice Red.

Hybrid Seeds and Plants Definition, Tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, Roses