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‘Carotena’ was bred by Bill Jeffers Elberfeld, IN, USA, from the cross made between ‘Jaune Flamme’ and ‘Sungold’ in 2006*. Indeterminate, regular leaf plant produces a very high yield of beautiful, round, golf ball-sized (4oz./100g.), honey-orange fruits with delicious, well-balanced flavors. Early to midseason.
*This is what Bill Jeffers wrote us on July 27th, 2020: „The original cross was Jaune Flamme x Sungold in 2006.
I send F1 seeds to Australia for initial grow during their southern hemisphere summer 2006. F2 seeds were returned to Evansville, Indiana, and grown in summer 2007. Subsequent F-generations grown by me and by a few others 2008 thru about 2011 as “Amarillo” selecting for egg-shaped, cocktail size (2 to 3 ounce) yellow/orange fruit replicating the Jaune Flamme parent shape, but with more intense flavor from Sungold parent.
Over time it seems that the fruit size increased thru fasciation of the seed locules, and the fruit shape tended to become more rounded as opposed to oval. The vines are regular leaf, and indeterminate.
About 2012, I noticed a commercial F1 hybrid cherry called Amarillo was offered by a California breeder, and realized I couldn’t continue calling mine by the same unregistered name. So, I asked other growers with whom I had shared seeds and project development to call it Amarillo Armadillo until further notice.
That same summer, 2012, I grew one plant that expressed high beta carotene content, and dropped further development of other sister lines to concentrate on the beta carotene line. The beta carotene line from 2012 seeds produced plants that had either round or slightly elongated fruit. The round fruit appeared to carry the fasciated locale trait promising to increase fruit size in subsequent generations, which indeed happened. Eventually, I shared seeds for the beta carotene line with a select few fellow tomato breeders, amateurs like me, and 2 professional breeders, changing the name to “Carotena.”
Developed and stabilized from my original Amarillo (Jaune Flamme x Sungold). As you can see, I selected for round, 3-ounce fruit with multiple seed locales rather than the pullet egg shaped ‘Jaune Flamme’ shaped fruit with 2 or 3 larger seed locules. I did this to take advantage of “fasciated” fruit trait that leads to larger fruit sized.“