Mature tomato flower. Special filter used to achieve beautiful color pattern.

This page will give you information on the development of tomato flowers. Scroll downward and read the text that corresponds to the picture above it. All information on this page cited from the fourth chapter of The Tomato Crop edited by J.G. Atherton and J.Rudich, chapter authors J.G. Atherton and G.P. Harris.

The tomato flower goes through many stages as it develops into fruit.

When the bud first forms the petals are protected by the sepals. Some buds are aborted before they can mature into flowers.

As the bud matures the sepals separate to expose the pale yellow-green petals. The petals later turn a deeper yellow.

Once the flower is mature it will either be fertilized to develop into a fruit, or it will be abscissed. If the flower is not fertilized, it separated from the plant at the abscission zone. This causes the flower to wither and die. Note the flower being abscissed in the above picture. If the flower is fertilized it will undergo senescence. During senescence the flower's petals, style, and stigma are shed. Note the fertilized flowers above. To learn more about the fertilization process click here. The flowers on a given inflorescence develop at different times. A single tomato inflorescence may have developing buds, mature flowers and developing fruit at one time.

Introduction | Flowers&Fruit | Roots | Stems | Leaves

© Thomas L. Rost 1996
Section of Plant Biology Division of Biological Sciences