Can you guess what type of tomato Im looking for? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My father has long told me of a local tomato from his childhood that he wants me to grow but he cant tell me what it is but he gives a pretty specific description:

It is a potato leaved plant. The color when ripe is mostly red but with some random orange or greenish coloration on the shoulders of the fruit. The fruit should be "knubbldy and and bumpledy mutants" with deep creases and folds often caused by multiple fruits fusing. The shape of the tomato is neither a boat or oxheart but somewhere between the two. The tomato when ripe should be a bag of acidic juice and seeds, comparatively little pulp. He does not remember if it was determinate, indeterminate or some variation thereof. "Brandywines are a step in the right direction but are too meaty and dont have enough acid juice."

If you think you know what this was, do you know where to find seeds for such a thing?

-- William in Wi (, December 01, 2000


You speak of it being potatoe leaved. Is it possible that you are refering to the cross species hybrid pomatoe (tomatoes on the vine, potatoes on the roots)?

-- Jay Blair (, December 01, 2000.

No, according to Pa, it must have been OP. Grandma saved the seeds every winter on the windowsill and replanted the next spring. Pomatos do sound like interesting plants though...

-- William in Wi (, December 01, 2000.

Could be so many different ones, I wouldn't know where to start. My suggestion is getting copies of Tomato Grower's Supply or Totally Tomatos catalogs and seeing if any fit their descriptions (they both have ads in Organic Gardening magazine--not sure about websites). I can think of several that fit the fruit description but don't remember if they're the potato-leaved varieties or not. Do you know anyone who is a member of The Seed Saver's Exchange? Members offer something like way over a thousand different varieties of tomatos.

Hillbilly? Zapotec Pleated? A German Johnson strain? Some Oxheart strain, many of which are potato leaved?

-- Hannah Maria Holly (, December 01, 2000.

Try this address

-- Hannah Maria Holly (, December 01, 2000.

Hannah's on the right track,I think.It's might one of those in "pineapple" type of tomatoes.What state are you referring to where this was grown?Wisconsin? Here in KY we have a big orange and yellow striped one that looks like Regina Yellow variety I grew out this year.But regina was not particularly acidic.I got seed of the local heirloom that I will grow out next season.Don't know anything more about it yet.

Get Totally Tomatoes catalogue for the pictures as suggested.You may see something in the heirloom section that fits the bill.Look for the potato leaf description or your state esp.

On potato leaf,that is a type of tomato,for instance brandywine is a potato leafed tomato.Tomatoes varieties fall into either potato leaf, modern leaf ,or currant.Info I have states you can grow one of each of these next to each other w/o having to worry abt isolation-for you seed savers.

-- sharon wt (, December 01, 2000.

Hey William! You've really got me thinking! Is this tomato a large one, as in a beefsteak? Was this tomato grown in Wisconsin? (Assuming the Wi stands for Wisconsin). Or did your dad grow up somewhere else? Alot of the old time tomatoes were grown fairly regional. I've got alot of tomato sites bookmarked and maybe can help.

-- Annie (, December 01, 2000.

Potato-leafed is a classification for the shaping of the leaves -- similar to tomato's cousin, the potato. Regular-leaf, Potato-leaf, Rugose-leaf, etc are all classifications for their foliage. The so- called Tomato/potato hybrids commonly seen marketed as novelty items are in reality one of two things -- a potato plant and a tomato plant shipped to you in one pot, or a more expensive true graft of a tomato plant onto potato roots. Both of them are expensive, considering that neither one produces well, being in competition for the available nutrients in a given area. We made them in plant propagation class in college solely to give us experience in the technique -- and afterwards, we threw them out.

Also try; www.heirloom

-- Julie Froelich (, December 02, 2000.

Wow, so many tomato people, I knew this was the right place to ask. I guess I left a lot out though...

"Local" would have been North East Wisconsin.

Size is as small as 6oz usually falling in the 8-10oz range with some multifused mutants being 16oz or so.

The problem that I have encountered trying to identify it by pictures is that only stereotypical "perfect" tomatos are shown and therefor none of them lo right to Pa. This tomato has some traits that many wouldnt appreciate so I dont think tha the traits would be properly described in most catalogs (very acidic and seedy with almost no pulp).

-- William in WI (, December 02, 2000.

Can't pin it down for you.Definitely not a beefsteak type then, so skip the pineapple types.Try going to the 'seeds of change' forum and asking there.Also do you have any mennonite or amish greenhouses or veg. growers in the area? They usually have heirloom varities.That's where I got seed for my two regional varities.Heirloom catalogues have pretty good descriptions, like seed savers exchange, and they are on line.Check it and seeds of change and totally tomatoes out, if you've not already done so.Might get you in the ball park anyway.

Hope this helps.Love those heirlooms,esp. the stories attached.

-- sharon wt (, December 02, 2000.

Well, here's another source. For open-pollenated tomatoes, there is no greater repository of knowledge than Seed Saver's Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. This is an organization of thousands of individual seed-savers and the number of seeds being saved (and NOT available commercially), I believe, is in excess of 11,000. This includes seeds of all kinds, not just tomatoes. I would loan you my 2000 yearbook, which lists all the tomatoes available and might give you the info you seek. e-mail directly and I'll try to spend a little time helping, when I can find that elusive time! GL!

-- Brad (, December 04, 2000.

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