A Veggie by Any Other Name: Name Changes Hit the Home Gardener Market

“Dear Horticulture Talk,

Last year you wrote that certain varieties were getting different names.  Are there any that will have different names for 2011?




Yes, indeed, there will be changes for 2011.  For these varieties, you can thank the formerly questionable naming practices of Seminis seed (pre-Monsanto).

As discussed in my previous entry on Fat ‘n Sassy Peppers, the naming scheme developed under the Seminis was that the home garden market is totally different than the commercial market in that people want ‘cute’ names.  The cuter the name, the easier it is to sell.  So, Seminis ‘dumbed down’ their names so gardeners like you and I could feel warm fuzzies inside when we had our little ‘sweeties’ growing in the garden.


Essentially, plant breeders at Seminis were encouraged to market seed under different names.  The true name was the commercial name and was marketed at a premium because a new disease resistant or long shelf life variety for a commercial growers could mean thousands of dollars per pound prices.  Home garden markets are not able to accept such high prices, so the names new name was given and it sold under the new name to the home garden seed companies (and thus their customers).  As you may have caught on, that is a HUGE!!! no-no in the various laws developed by the Federal Seed Act (FSA) and the USDA.

Here are the many varieties that are getting a ‘makeover:

–Eggplant Epic (formerly Dusky)

–Pepper Mitla (formerly Jalapa)

–Pepper Balada (formerly Kung Pao)

–Pepper King Arthur (formerly Fat and Sassy)

–Pepper Biscayne (formerly Sweet Cubanella)

–Squash Commander (formerly Aristocrat)

–Baron Hybrid (formerly Red Beauty Hybrid)

–Italico (formerly Spanish Spice)

As always, I’m sure more will be coming for 2012, but this is at least enough to keep you going this next year.



© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “A Veggie by Any Other Name: Name Changes Hit the Home Gardener Market

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s