Looking for a tomato

lorabell NC(8)March 31, 2012

My G-mother brought over a Russian heirloom back in 1889 that we grew until 1970's when my parents sold the farm and I left the state for over 30 years traveling. Well, I recently went and bought a farmette and have been looking for it...without much luck.

It looks just like the purple calabash except the size was much larger...up to a pound. It had potato type leaves and was a late producer.

Anyone have any suggestions on what it could have been?

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I would suggest starting your search here. Tatiana list many Russian heirlooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tatiana's TOMATObase

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:27AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

On this page (middle of the page) Tatiana lists tomatoes by origin. Besides Russia, look under other former Soviet states like Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. You'll find more than 600 varieties. (There's a little overlap between the categories, but I think not much.)

When you look at individual varieties on her site, look first at the box in the upper right and you'll see color, size, and maturity time listed. That will save you a lot of reading.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:12PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Lorabell, I don't want to discourage you but if this variety was grown within your family only and not shared with others, it's going to be difficult to find an exact match.

It was posted above that there are about 600 varieties from those areas mentioned above. And all I can say is that if you know exactly where your relatives came from it might help. In 1889 there was no independent state of Russia, as there is now.

Below I'm linking to a page from Tania's website for Purple Calabash, which does have RL foliage and yes, the fruits are dark colored.

There are many varieties from the former USSR that are so called blacks and have PL foliage, so when you're at Tania's site you might try going to leaf forms, and searching for varieties that do have PL foliage and have Russian language names.

But again, if what you grew stayed within the family and was not shared here in the US with others, then the chances of finding the exact variety are slim to none, although you might find a close substitute.

I hope that helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: Purple Calabash

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 4:58PM
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lorabell NC(8)

Aw, This is definitely turning out harder then expected. I spent several hours already today on Tania's site and haven't found the 'one'. I'll just keep on looking..thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 7:53PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Hate to burst the bubble but when you do find it ,it wont tste like you remember it anyway.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 4:49AM
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lorabell NC(8)

You are bursting my bubble....but how come it won't taste the same?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:55AM
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