Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.


Tough scrambling herb to over 2 m tall, generally grown as an annual, rooting at the nodes. Leaves deeply cut, with 7-9 primary lobes and stalk to 5 cm long. Flower clusters flat-topped. Flowers with corolla to about 2.5 cm wide, with the yellow lobes often bent back. Anthers with an appendage 2-3 mm long. Ovary manychambered in garden plants. Fruit a mostly spherical, sometimes elongated or ovoid berry, generally red (occasionally orange or yellow) at maturity and up to 10 cm wide in cultivated plants. [L. lycopersicum (L.) Farwell, Solanum lycopersicum L.]

Andes of S America

Naturalised in N WA, central SA,W Qld and the central coast of NSW, the seeds surviving passage through animal intestines.

This is the commercial tomato that appears to have originated in Mexico or Peru and been taken to Europe, probably in the 16th century. It is used uncooked in salads or, when cooked, as a puree, ketchup or soup, sometimes dried, tinned or, when green and immature, in chutneys and pickles. Tomatoes are now available in a range of mature colours including pinks, reds, oranges and yellows. Many commercial tomatoes are bred for longevity and good storage rather than flavour. However, there are many flavoursome heirloom cultivars used in pastes and sauces as well as for eating raw. In Australia, Queensland far outstrips the other states in commercial production.

The following list includes cultivars, both traditional and modern, that were offered in 1996-7. The list also includes cultivars of the Cherry Tomato. 'Amish Paste', 'Apollo', 'Armada TM', 'Baby Roma', 'Bandito', 'Beefsteak', 'Big Yellow', 'Black Russian', 'Broad Ripple', 'Buccaneer TM', 'Burnley Bounty', 'Burnley Surecrop', 'Carissa', 'Carmello TM', 'Cherry Cocktail', 'Cherry Gold', 'Cherry Supreme', 'Cherub', 'Cocktail', 'Cocktail Supreme', 'College Challenger', 'Cutlass TM', 'Delta Dawn', 'Delta Lady', 'Delta Tristar', 'Dynamo', 'Early Cascade', 'Firestick', 'First Prize', 'Floradade', 'Golden Filler', 'Golden Sunrise', 'Graf Zeppelin', 'Green Zebra', 'Grosse Lisse', 'Hardy Tom', 'Hires Special Improved', 'Husky Gold', 'Husky Pink', 'Jubilee', 'K.Y.I.', 'La Rossa TM', 'Lionheart', 'Lucy', 'Lutschist Zurich', 'Mama Mia', 'Mama's Delight', 'Mande', 'Marzanot', 'Meridian', 'Mighty Red', 'Mini Red Pear', 'Mini Yellow Pear', 'Moonshot', 'Mortgage Lifter', 'Mutiny TM', 'Orange Sunrise', 'Ox Heart', 'Patio Prize', 'Pirate TM', 'Ponderosa Pink', 'Principe Borghese', 'Quick Pik', 'Red Back', 'Red Bay', 'Red Mountain', 'Red Setter', 'Roma', 'Roma Nova', 'Rouge de Marmande', 'Stupice', 'Summertaste', 'Super Prize', 'Sweet Bite', 'Tigerella', 'Tiny Tim', 'Tommy Toe', 'Tropic', 'Vemone', 'Verna Orange', 'Vesuvio', 'Vivian', 'Yellow Cherry Cocktail' and 'Yellow Mini Pear'.

var. cerasiforme (Dunal) A. Gray, Cherry Tomato (Cocktail Tomato), has numerous flowers and produces many small, cherry-like, variously coloured, 2-chambered fruits to about 2.5 cm wide. They are generally sweeter than the common tomato but tougher-skinned. Current breeding is mostly in the Far East and Holland.

England (1999b); Farrell, H. (2018). Cherry picking the best. The Garden (cherry tomato cultivars).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Solanaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Solanales
family       Solanaceae
genus        Lycopersicon Mill.