I'm wanting to grow potatoes that don't have any genes for cytoplasmic male sterility. In other words, I'm wanting potatoes that fruit like tomatoes (they actually do exist), productively, so I can grow them from seeds instead of tubers.

I know you can buy Zolushka potato seeds (TTS: true potato seed—not the same thing as seed potatoes) at Park Seed. However, I don't know if the resulting plants have a chance of having cytoplasmic male sterility or not. Do they? Do they fruit? That's my question. I mean, buying the seeds is worth much more to me if I can save my own seeds every season or two.

Additionally, if you know where I can get some other kinds of TTS that don't carry a cytoplasmic male sterility gene, feel free to let me know. I see that Joseph Lofthouse has a landrace he's working on, with TTS. I don't know if he sells seeds, though, but I could ask him. It sounds promising, anyway.

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I can't tell you whether your Zolushka potato seeds will grow into plants that produce fruit readily or not - whilst potato plants may flower, they often do not produce fruit, the flower just withers. The point to consider is this - even if your Zolushka does produce fruit, you won't know what kind of potatoes you'll get from any viable seed you manage to extract, because they don't come true to variety that way. That said, without just growing them yourself to see how fruitful they are, I doubt the supplier of the seeds would be able to tell you whether they're CMS, but you could ask. I'd be surprised if many people bother to ask how fruitful a plant is, usually worrying only about the tuber production rather than fruits, so they may not be able to answer that question either.

Having read your Joseph Lofthouse link, it appears you're better off doing your own experiments, or contacting him in this matter.

Out of curiousity, I'll ask this - even if they did come true, do you really want only one type of potato that's best suited to frying?

  • I'm not looking for seeds that breed true, particularly—except in that I want them to be fruitful and free of CMS. One of the things I like about growing them from seed is that the next generation is going to basically be a new potato variety. (And if I like it, I can propagate it further through tubers or cuttings.) You're probably right about Joseph Lofthouse. I wrote most of the question before I found that link again, but I figured I'd see if the community had anything specific to say about Zolushka, rather than only TTS potatoes, since it's sold in a fairly major outlet. Oct 17, 2015 at 15:33
  • But no, I don't really only want one kind. However, if I had only one kind (which bred true) that met those specifications, I would prefer that to none. Oct 17, 2015 at 15:36
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    Well from reading Lofthouse's link, he's eradicating CMS potatoes simply by only choosing to grow those which were most floriferous and producing plenty of pollen growing on his land. I imagine he grows different varieties though, so can pick and choose... but I couldn't do without my maris pipers for roasting and exquisa for salads...
    – Bamboo
    Oct 17, 2015 at 15:37

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