Progression of a Megabloom

June 23, 2009

This season I got several double and triple flowers on my "Burpee's Supersteak" plant. I decided to photograph a particular truss with a double and triple flower on it. These pictures show the growth and development of the flowers all the way up to blooming time. The timae span is about two weeks.

So what do you think? The development of mutant flowers is interesting, no? ;)

Comments (20)

  • mulio

    That's actually a fairly normal flower for a beefstake type fruiting variety.

  • tomahtohs

    Well, they are shaped pretty normally, but the bigger one is about twice the size of all the single flowers on the plant. I guess I just meant "Mutant" in that it's at least two flowers put together. =P

  • mulio

    They are great photos.

    Maybe its time for me to get a higher megapixel camera?

  • tammysf

    great pics...i had this happen to a black krim and the tomato is already looking all catfaced and funky but i LOVE it!!

  • missingtheobvious

    Please continue. It would be interesting to see the fruit that develops from them.

  • compost_pete-grower

    Awesome photos!!! What kind of camera took those?
    Mulio, we just got a cannon D-20 for 350 bucks on craigs list and the photos blow me away.

  • homegardenpa

    Those are some nice photos. I currently two megablooms I'm watching. One of them is a triple bloom on a Caspian Pink and the other is a triple bloom on Brandywine. Both have set fruit and the Caspian Pink is already getting huge already about 4"+ accross, at it's widest (oval shaped), and still has a long way to go. The Brandywine is about 1.5" across, but it just set a short time ago. They are both going to be really ugly I'm sure, I can already see some catfacing, but I don't care - big and ugly is fine when it's tomatoes :)

    I'll try to post some pictures later when I take some.

  • cfed

    This Frankenmater is either 3 or 4 blooms fused. I have a 2-bloom on nearly every Brandywine. I can't wait to see how this beast turns out!

  • tomahtohs

    Compost_Pete-Grower, I took those photos with a "Nikon Coolpix S210" camera. It was only a little over 100 bucks, so I imagine your canon D-20 is probably vastly superior. I'm sure none of us would mind if you uploaded a few sample shots. :)

    Wow, cfed, That's one epic tomato! Keep us updated on that monster of a fruit.

  • sassymesclunsalad

    they are not called megablooms the correct term is: king flowers,conjoined flowers,or tomato sunflowers.

    as the results of this type of bloom results usaully in a huge tomato if full pollenation is achieved.

  • organic_dusty

    Awesome pictures of the beautiful tomato flower!! Keep us posted.


  • account_holder

    Regarding the challenge to term "megabloom", precedent for the term is established in a very informative book by Dr. Marvin Meisner entitled, "Growing Giant Tomatoes". I highly recommend it.

    It is not entirely clear that "king flower" implies a fused bloom. See page 67 of "Tomatoes" by Ep Heuvelink where the author seems to use that term to refer to the bloom, in general, regardless of whether it is conjoined or single.

  • missingtheobvious

    Would anyone care to offer an opinion as to whether all extra-large tomato flowers are a result of fasciation? In any case, some certainly are.

    So we can add another term: fasciated flower.

    I don't remember who first posted the Purdue link on this forum; unfortunately there are no tomato pics.

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • tn_veggie_gardner

    Megablooms are awesome lookin'! I want one! lol =)

  • anthony_toronto

    I got hundreds of megablooms last year and there are probably 100 or more this year on my 50 plants. I pull most of them off because they are largely a waste of energy in terms of the fruit that they produce (big, but usually so deformed and woody that you have to cut off half the tomato). If they look like they are fairly intact specimens (and not overly catfaced) then I will keep a few, but I figure why waste the plant's energy on something that wont properly ripen.

  • jtcm05

    Is this "Mega" bloom a technical term? Cuz that blossom looks pretty normal to me.

  • liz63

    I have around 4 so far on my Cherokee purple. There seems to be one in each group of flowers. I'll try to take some pictures too if it turns into a fruit.

  • account_holder

    I found the following definition for "king flower" in "The Berry Growers Companion"
    "The terminal flower opens first and is referred to as the king flower. The king flower also has the highest number of cells in it. Why is this important? Because it will yield the largest fruit, appropriately called the king fruit."

    Clearly, a "king flower" is just the lead flower in a cluster.

    "Fasciation" was also suggested. An article, "Fasciation In Lycopersicon. I. Genetic Analysis of Dominance Modification", introduces signs of the condition on page 408 by stating, "Infinite variation in flower structure abnormality exists in fasciated varieties." It goes on to describe changes that include what we might visually identify as a megabloom, but also encompass a wide range of alterations, some of which would not be visible to the unaided eye.

    I would stick with "megabloom" to refer to visibly fused blooms.

  • homegardenpa

    Ok, so it took me a while, and it's not so much a progression since they're huge now, but it's two of my best megablooms. I think they're cool personally, a bit ugly, but I'm going to eat them, not enter them into a pageant :)

    Brandywine Megabloom

    Caspian Pink Megabloom, among some regualr fruit.

  • matermark

    You often get fetus-fruits from them...



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