Heirloom tomato ID

Toffle(8 (London))April 3, 2014

Hi, I posted this in the general plant ID forum but they told me to try you guys! I'm just curious about what this tomato actually is. My mother-in-law gave me the seeds this year that I think are at least 10 years old. Her elderly, now late, neighbor had given them to her and apparently the seeds had at least been passed down from her grandmother's time, maybe longer. This is in a little village outside Oxford. I planted 12 and 6 germinated, and are growing well, I'm just curious about what they are. I have another photo for scale that I'll put up. They do turn solid red when ripe, you can see one just behind the hand in the 2nd photo.

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Toffle(8 (London))

Here's the other photo.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 3:31AM
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Is it a type of Oxheart? That's not one that I have grown but I have seen that shape in seed catalogs.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:29AM
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This appears to be a globe fruit with a nipple on the blossom end.
Nipples, I believe, are genetically recessive, so this would eliminate
a lot of the many varieties in the red, 1" to 1.5" grouping.
The leaf type seems to be regular to my eyes. The fruits green
shoulders indicates it does not have the unifrom ripening gene
found in most commercial tomatoes, so it could possibly be an
old heirloom variety. Is it determinate or indeterminate?

It is impossible to identify it exactly, but we can all guess.

In case it is a long lost and rare heirloom, you should save seeds.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:18AM
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I have no idea. Are they any good?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Toffle(8 (London))

I looked up Oxheart, the tips of these are much pointier than that. Some on the other forum suggested others that look more like what these are but still not the same to my eyes, and when I forwarded the messages to my mother-in-law she said she remembers the tomatoes being pretty round except for that nipple.
I don't think they're big enough yet to be useful in any ID but these are the seedlings so far: http://roofinlondon.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/tomato-100-year-2014-3-27.jpg
Don't know the (in)determinate answer yet... will keep an eye out. It's definitely not anything dwarf/compact.

The folded-up paper with the seeds on it was labeled "100-year-old tomato" and the woman's name; she had passed it on to the mother-in-law before she died but I suppose after she had to stop gardening. There are a bunch more seeds that I saved in case I killed all the plants or something. I'm sort of learning as I go along on a tiny little roof garden. Happy to send some seeds to someone more reliable to keep going for posterity in case they're interesting to anyone other than me.

This post was edited by Toffle on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 18:19

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:18PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Looks LIKE Anna Russian. But probably it is not it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:24PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

No, It's not a heart shaped variety as has been mentioned above, just a small red with a nipple.

With so many varieties out there and this one being grown for perhaps the first time in a long time and not known I can't see anyone being able to ID it for you.

Unfortunately it's almost impossible to ID ANY variety via photo unless the variety has something distinctive about shape or coloration, etc.,and few do.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Oh Caroline I was so sure you'd solve the mystery plant! Interesting looking tomato, tho.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:48PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

You mentioned above a 100 yo tomato and the only tomato variety I know of in England that's over 100 years old is Moneymaker, link below.

It fits what you've been showing as for size and color except for the small nipple and such small nipples can appear on fruits from time to time, especially if there's been high heat.


Here is a link that might be useful: Moneymaker

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 9:56AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

As I look at the picture (with hand) they are not definitely round. The third small one on the top looks distinctively heart shaped.But that is beyond the point trying to ID it. The nippled blossom end is also a distinctive feature that puts it apart from any crowd. Even with all that narrowing down, it seems to stay unknown.
Give it a name: Mystery Lady

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Toffle(8 (London))

Hi again everyone,
About 50% of the seeds I planted this year came up, and all of the seedlings are about 4' tall now and starting to make tomatoes. I took some more pictures (link below), still curious about what it might be!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato photos

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Looks interesting!

Please report back and let us know if it tastes good.

If you have grown Moneymaker, perhaps you could let us know how it compares.

I grew MM for many years. It always produced round fruit and behaved more like a determinate for me.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Toffle(8 (London))

I haven't, no, so can't compare... but will let you know if it's nice or not! If it tastes good and I can save enough seeds from this year's crop I'm happy to mail some around to whoever wants them.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:08PM
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Veery interesting looking plant. Can't wait to see what it looks like ripe and to hear how you like the taste. I agree wwith Carolyn that it's not a heart. Certainly not Anna Russian. Keep us posted!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 1:01PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Reading your initial post again, it appears that what you grew never had a name. And while it's thought that Moneymaker is over 100 years old and that's been said for many years, the link below indicates it was bred in 1913.

And there are many other varieties that were bred both in England and the US, going back to the mid 1800's up to the early 1900's as well as many varieties that appeared due to Cross pollination,

So with no name given to you it's impossible to ID a specific variety b/c there's no way to know what to compare it with.

You might want to record everything you know about it, including all the names whose hands the seeds went through, and geographically where it was first IDed, and also all the traits of it, look at Tania's page below to see which traits she records, and then name it yourself.

Over the years I've received many seeds with no names and have had to name the variety either myself or interacting with the person I got the seeds from.

I'D be glad to help name it when you've gathered all the information, and for you only, my e-mail address is


All others please do not e-mail me. ( smile)

Hope that helps,


Here is a link that might be useful: Moneymaker

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 3:05PM
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Toffle(8 (London))

Oh that's great, thank you!! Mother-in-law and I decided to call it "Mylors" if nothing else appears��"the name of the house where the nice lady lived who had saved the seeds all those years and gave them to us.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 5:06AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Mylors sounds fine to me since it does recognize the woman who saved those seeds for many years.

Congratulations on your newborn, ahem, and save lots of seeds and maybe I could trade you a few varieties in exchange for Mylors, since I'm always looking for new varieties to offer in my annual seed offer elsewhere..

Could you sharewith us again if it's an indeterminate, I think you call them pole varieties in the UK, and what it tastes like, compared to other varieties you've grown?


Carolyn, who gave you her e-mail contact in the post above.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 7:52AM
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Yes keep us posted. And Caroline enjoy Wimbledon. Hopefully you will be ok with Arthur!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 9:04AM
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Interesting story and thanks for sharing. I've had a few oxhearts do that but not consistently on all fruits. Curious what your night and day temps are in your climate.
Might do well in my area.

-nice photos in your link. Love the purple pea.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Toffle(8 (London))

Hi everyone,

Here are my tomatoes, turning red!!
There was an accident with the main pot of them falling off the roof in a storm (resulting in the tying down of everything else, and erecting of a small fence at the edge, don't worry)��"so the bulk of my crop was lost, but luckily I had accidentally swapped a few of them for cherry tomatoes, and so while their growth is stunted for being in smaller containers, I have managed to get some to harvest:

Carolyn, I'm not sure whether it's indeterminate or not, since the whole thing fell down right in the middle of everything growing. It looked like it might keep going forever, was almost as tall as me (5'-ish), so I assume indeterminate. But it didn't really get a fair shot.

In London we have pretty temperate weather; the hottest it gets in the summer normally is upper 80s and that's unusual, and it always cools off at night. These started turning red right during the "heat wave" of high temps for two or three weeks that we had this summer, so they seemed to like it, but it's hard keeping up with hot weather in the containers so wonder what they would do if they were in the ground.

I still have some of the original seeds, and am trying to save some seeds of this year's group as well, so happy to swap with anyone who wants to.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 2:17PM
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