Help me find tomato seeds please

hvcomputer(6)April 8, 2005


I was hoping that someone could help me to locate a specific strain of tomatoes.... It looks like several mishaps may have ended the line that we have had for 50 years now.

My grandfather got some seeds from a US soldier who

was in Berlin at the end of WWII. The soldier got the seeds

from a Russian soldier in a trade. Here is a description of

the tomatoes:

very large (as in 1-3 lbs each)

lobes or deep ridges

some cracking can occur in the thin skin

purple/dark red color, sometimes green streaks

very meaty/solid

few seeds, almost no seed "goop"

very sweet, outstanding flavor (with just a touch of salt,

you can make a meal out of one)

late season/80+ days maturity

A Polish woman told us that the tomato was just like

common tomatoes in Poland.

Over the years, the tomatoes crossed with other types

several times, so we have been looking for the original

strain for a couple of years, but it looks like we are in

a crisis. Would anyone know if any of the following strains

fit my description?

Russian 117

Caspian Pink Beefsteak

Black Krim Beefsteak

Polish Giant

Sandul Moldovan

Maslov's Giant Beefsteak

If not, any suggestions???

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Maybe try posting on the "Growing Tomatoes" forum.They are a great imformative bunch over there:)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 8:29PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Russian 117, is a red double flat heart, so that's out

Caspian Pink Beefsteak , there have to be at least several hundred vartieties that are similar to this one,

Black Krim Beefsteak , no ridges, smooth, a black variety, never gets as large as you say

Polish Giant ,lots of varieties that look like this one

Sandul Moldovan , nope, smaller and pink

Maslov's Giant Beefsteak , again nothing specific about this one either

Sad to say for your search, but there are over 12,000 heirloom varieties known and maybe 4 to 5,000 available commercially and thru SSE/

And as far as Russian varieties go, there have to be several hundred you could have listed as possible candidates.

So often folks are looking for a specific variety that matches what they've remembered, but unless a variety comes with a name already attached to it it's really impossible to match up something once known with another variety.

Had you posted this in the Tomato Forum I would have answered the same way, as would others, I'm sure.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 10:19PM
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I bet if you planted any of those, and were able to get some tomatoes off them and prepared them like your grandfather would love his memories would erase any question of exactly which variety it was. I know that my grandfather, who was from Romania and my Grandmother from Germany could not cook at all. But my grandpa would slice tomatoes and cukes and just pour good old wesson oil and chill that dish. I LOVED that! And now that I am "old" I make that simple dish and always recall how much I loved my grandfather and grandmother.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 2:34PM
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bgray(6, Brooklyn NY)

The tomatos you describe sound like a variety that I have done very well with called Noir de Crimee. That name is french for black crimean... which which is to say russian. The tomatos that I have gotten have not as big as the ones that you describe, but very similar in all other respects. They are large sweet somewhat smoky in flavor and they are sort of a dark purple with the occational green leges on top.

They are available from...

Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 7:30PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Noir de Crimmee is a variety I received from France in 1992, listed it at SSE and it has found its way to many seed comapanies and it should be the same as Black Krim, but I like it better. I don't find it to be all that different from the many so called black varieties around these days.

But it is good.

As seed sources go folks have said that the seed source you give can be very slow and while they sprinkle my name around in some of their tomato blurbs, I think I'd like to also mention the following sources as being great places to get OP heirloom seeds in a timely manner:

Tomato Growers Supply
Heirloomseeds ( in PA)
SSE Public Catalog
Victory Seeds
Baker Creek
SandHill Preservation, which is superb with the lowest prices around but you must order off season to get seeds in a timely manner.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 12:14PM
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thandiwe2(6b SW Pa)

Last year I grew a purple/red tomato with the size and thin skin that you mention. It was called paul robison, after the African-American actor and orator that toured Russia. So, athough it is named after an American it is actually a russian tomato. Very sweet, big and black/red -- I got the seed from and it won some flavor contests there.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 8:52PM
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Try Seed Savers Exchange,
3094 North Winn Road
Decorah,IA 52101
They have saved thousands of species of vegetables thought to be extinct.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 10:21AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Sad to say for your search, but there are over 12,000 heirloom varieties known and maybe 4 to 5,000 available commercially and thru SSE/

Try Seed Savers Exchange,


I had mentioned SSE above but just so folks know, the several thousand varieties of tomatoes that are available at SSE are available only to SSE members as listed in the Yeabook.

Yes, there is a public catalog which is also at their website form which anyone can order, but only about 40 tomato varieties are offered there each year.

I'm a long time Lifetime member of SSE and have Yearbooks going back many years, have grown out about 2000 varieties myself, and honestly, there is no way to match up what the poster describes with any specific tomato variety, unfortunately.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2005 at 1:30PM
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