Q: Why do some citrus have seeds and some don’t?
To find out, The FruitGuys asked Emily Thacher Ayala, farmer at Friends’ Ranch in Ojai, CA (Ventura County).
Friends’ grows Pixies, not the fairies, but the little seedless tangerines that everybody loves, plus other great citruses such as Tahoe Golds, W. Murcotts, and Yosemite Golds.
A: Same reason some people can have lots of babies and others can’t.
Seedlessness is just a freak mutation (just like some women don’t have viable eggs). Over hundreds of years, and especially in the past 100 years, we have selected varieties that have less or no seeds.
We find a variety by chance that does not make seeds and we can cut buds from those trees to make new ones. There is no genetically-engineered citrus.