AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

about page banner

Heirloom Vegetable Varieties for Florida

As opposed to the modern-day hybrid cultivars, heirlooms are old cultivars generated by handing down seeds from generation to generation. In order to be considered an heirloom, the variety must be true-to-type, open-pollinated, and it must be in use for at least 50 years. This means that pollination occurs by insects, birds, wind, or any other natural means, and the plants produced will be identical to the parent plant. Although heirlooms are not selected for traits such as disease resistance, they are usually selected for superior flavor, color, and texture. Because heirlooms are true-to-type, they will have consistent traits from one generation to the next; therefore, the seeds can be saved and regrown the following year.