> So the question is... would you save any seedling "just" for the
sake of the stalk/ branching?
My own opinion is 'yes' if the stalk/branching is what you are
wanting. A lot of things are going on when a seed is being created.
My own suspicion is that stalk/branching are among the effects
influenced via mitochondrial inheritance. Those effects are
difficult to assess and there are probably a kajillion things
effecting the inheritance - dosages, substructure via normal meiosis,
but anytime folks are talking about the differences between reverse
crosses one of the visual differences should be what is inherited
solely from the maternal lines. The 'skin' of the plant is most
obviously the plant material inherited via that route. My own
experience is that the 'skin' is what is most likely to show up
similar to the pod parent and that includes branching. I've not
grown enough seedlings to be totally convinced and I think there may
be too many variables at work otherwise that effect what you get, but
using it as a pod parent might be worthwhile.
Texas Zone 7b, USA