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‘Little Lucky’ was selected and stabilized by Craig LeHoullier of Raleigh, North Carolina. It was developed from an accidental cross between ‘Brandywine’ and an unknown variety*. It is a sister line to the larger fruited ‘Lucky Cross’ tomato. First introduced commercially by the ‘Victory Seed Company’ in 2004.
Vigorous, indeterminate, potato leaf plants with a very good yield of medium-sized (3-7oz./90-200g), round golden-yellow fruits with a red blush on the bottom end that can cover all the fruit when fully ripe. The beautiful, bi-colored, juicy flesh is delicious, sweet, has complex and somewhat fruity flavors. A good choice for slicing into fruity salads. 90 days after transplant.
*This is what Craig LeHoullier wrote about this tomato on July 11, 2016, on his webpage:
‘Tomato Story: Lucky Cross – and Little Lucky
I am talking about tomatoes that are on the way, but are so special to me. The story of these tomatoes describes one way to create new varieties….growing an unexpected seedling, confirming it as a chance cross (F1 hybrid), then seeing what riches it holds as saved seed is grown and the results sorted through.
It is a story that continues to this day, but started in 1993. A Brandywine flower in my garden that year was visited by a bee with pollen from a neighboring striped variety. I was lucky to save seeds from the tomato that formed; in 1997, when some of those seeds were planted, a few had the normal, serrated type leaves, very distinct from the expected, smooth potato leaves of Brandywine. The question to be asked is….is it a mix up in seed saving? Some stray seeds? Or a cross?
I grew out one of those regular leaf seedlings in 1997, and the results confirmed the bee-aided cross. The one pound tomatoes were pink, but with fine vertical gold stripes. Seeds were saved, and in 1998 and 1999 I grew out a number of offspring, some regular leaf, some potato leaf.
I hit the jackpot right away – in 1998 one potato leaf plant produced medium sized yellow tomatoes with a red blush that were absolutely delicious – fully the equal of Brandywine. Along that time I enlisted the help of a Duke professor who lived nearby who was also a tomato enthusiast. Over the next few years, we worked with this tomato, and eventually settled on two different offspring, both potato leaf.
In the year 2000, two named tomatoes were born – Lucky Cross (a name I gave it – pretty obvious, really, since we were so lucky that the bee made the cross!), which was of the Brandywine size and shape (one pound average) and flavor (just delicious) and leaf shape – but with the lovely yellow coloring with red marbling known as the bicolored beefsteak type. The sister tomato, named Little Lucky, was the same in all respects except for size (4-6 ounce range) and shape (round).
We are now pretty advanced now on generations for each of these – seed saved of each variety in 2012 was at the F10 generation, meaning it is quite stable.
For this year, I wanted to go back to some earlier generations and do a reselection for the very best flavor. In my driveway garden are five different selections of Lucky Cross at the F8 generation, and three earlier generations of Little Lucky as well. Below are some unripe fruit of each type – we are probably a week or two away to getting to taste the fruits of this year’s research efforts.’