Miguel Holle, Authority on the Wild Tomatoes of Peru

Miguel Holle, a plant collector and horticulturalist who was an authority on the wild tomatoes of Peru, died April 11, 2023 in Lima, Peru.  Few people knew the ecology and distribution of wild tomatoes as well as Holle, or collected as many local populations.  His tomato field work began in 1970 when he joined Charley Rick and others on a collecting expedition in Peru.  As Rick recalls in his memoirs, "We had fallen in with the most wonderful person, who was to be our friend, colleague, mentor, and most delightful travel companion, not only for these three months, but for man

Charley Rick and his Namesake Desert Nightshade

The wild nightshade Solanum sitiens, formerly S. rickii, is endemic to the Atacama Desert of Chile, among the driest places on Earth.  This well-adapted xerophyte was collected by Charley Rick in 1957, and described by Donovan Correll in 1961, who named it "S.

John Boynton scholarship honors Charley Rick

Dr. John Boynton a former graduate student at UC Davis, bequeathed a gift to UC Davis establishing a scholarship to recognize his graduate mentor, Dr. Charles M. Rick.  The Charles Rick Endowed Fellowship in Plant Genetics is intended for Ph.D. students interested in plant genetics.  Boynton began his graduate work under Rick in 1960 -- the image below is from his 1959 admissions application -- and graduated in 1966 with a Ph.D.

Galapagos mockingbird feeding on native tomatoes

One of the mysteries about wild tomatoes is how they migrate to new geographic regions, and in particular what animal(s) are responsible for their seed dispersal.  Two wild tomato species, Solanum galapagense and S.