Someone dh works with brought in tree tomato plants. So he brought some home. How do these grow? Do they develop an actual 'trunk' like stem and get tall? Any ideas? DH had no answers. Thanx!
It depends on what you really have. If it is Cyphomandra betacea then it isn't tomato at all. It grows like a shrub and does bear fruit that resemble tomatoes. They are very much edible and are used somewhat like tomatoes. On the other hand there are also (tree tomatoes( that are just another type of tomato plant. I haven't had any experience with either one of these personally.
Here is a link that might be useful: tree tomato
You can tell by the leaves which kind you have. Cyphomandra has really large teardrop shaped leaves with a smooth edge. Regular tomatoes always have jagged edges and at least a few "fingers" on each leaf (even the potato leaf types have a few).
Some people train regular tomatoes up into a tree type shape and overwinter them in a greenhouse which makes the main stem even more "tree" like - they almost have bark on them they get so thick. It is hard to do, they tend to catch every disease out there when living in a greenhouse.
I have both in my garden. The Cyphomandra are in a large pot. They are the orange fruited variety but mine are not big enough to set fruit. I believe most people this far north only get fruit in the fall - in the tropics they might produce all year long. They are a beautiful plant. I would grow them even if they didn't set fruit.
They have many names - Tree Tomato, Tamarillo, Toma de Arbol, Cyphomandra are a few.
The fruit is not that tasty - kinda like ordinary tomato with a hint of tropical fruitiness. Storebought fruit doesn't have as much flavor as fresh picked. Most people in Mexico cook them into jelly or make a fruit punch with them. They are filled with seeds that just like tomatoes have the "jelly" stuff around each seed.
Well, they look exactly like a regular tomato plant. I have Mortgage Lifter, Roma and Cherokee purple and all the leaves look about the same. Now, what do I do.....
Keep them well watered and fed and get ready to make salsa!
I'm growing that tomato this year...it's a true tomato. Totally Tomatoes included it as a bonus pack of seeds when I ordered green-to-yellow bell pepper seed. It's about 6 feet tall right now.
I found the GW thread below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Tree Tomato
Thanks for that info. These are still little. All my other tomatoes are bearing fruit already.