Pruden's Purple (Prudens Purple)

sconticut(6b)July 5, 2008

I have grown this variety for the past several years with some success. It seems to be relatively problem free. It's attracticve and, most importantly, it tastes good. I am told that it is related to Brandywine. Why does it play second fiddle to such other dark varieties such as Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, etc.? it didn't even make Carolyn Males's list of 100 Heirlooms for the Anmerican Garden! Just wondering if other growers are having problems with this variety.

P.S. It is developing fruit at the same schedule as Early Girl and Ultimate Opener. Is that a great tomato or what??

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

sc, Pruden'a Purple is not related to Brandywine.

That whole story started with the blurb for that variety at Pinetree seeds where it was described as an early Brandywine, but that was meant to say that it was earlier than Brandywine and they thought the taste was about the same. Not that it was related to Brandywine genetically, but many folks took it the wrong way and I can see how they did so.

No way would I compare the taste of Pruden's Purple, aka Prudence Purple as one SSE member insisted it should be spelled, with Brandywine.

I'm not sure why you're comparing it to Cherokee Purple, what I call a pink/black or Black Krim, which I call a red/black.

PP is just a nice dark pink and doesn't have the deeper coloration of either the pink or red blacks as I describe them.

Why didn't I put it in that book? At the point where I had to make decisions about what to grow out for photograpy I had a bit over 1000 varieties I'd then grown, now well over 2000, and I had other large pink beefsteaks that I wanted to include.

Heck, I had a lot more varieties I wanted to include but the subcontract to Workman, the publisher, specified X number of pages and 100 varieties and all the books in that series such as the orchid and rose books kept to those specifications. ( smile)


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:04PM
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IMHO: there is entirely too much information on tomatoes out there. This website ( said that the Pruden's Purple was developed from the Brandywine, so they must have read that information, too. I'm going to have to keep reading on this heirloom vs genetically modified thing. Man, growing tomatoes is so addictive, isn't it?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:35PM
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frugal_gary(alvin tx)

I grew my first PP this year. I live near houston with high humidity and plenty of heat. The pp did very well for me. I usually grow celbrity's for their high production and "play" with a few heirlooms.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:25PM
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That's a good question... There are only two tomatoes that I grow year after year in my garden and one of them is Brandywine. One year I did grow Pruden's Purple and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by it... but it didn't make it back the following year. Why? I'm not quite sure so I guess that it did play second fiddle to Brandywine. Like Carolyn said, maybe the taste really doesn't compare. For me, the flavor was pretty good, but just wasn't intense enough. By the way, Brandywine was only 4 or 5 days later than PP in my garden - a short wait for superior flavor.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 12:49AM
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I am kind of with Carolyn and sylvana11 on this. PP was on my must grow list for many years but didn't make this year's cut.

Just too many great varieties and just not enough space. But it's a great tomato and well worth growing at least once. I probably grew it 9 or 10 years straight...:)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 6:59AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

carolynp, perhaps I should e-mail Gary at Tomatofest and ask him to remove that information.

Just a few weeks ago someone alerted me to the fact that Gary was equating Yasha Yugoslavian and Crnkovic Yugoslavian, two varieties that I introduced ( seeds from Yasha Crnkovic, a colleague at one time) and I e-mailed him and told him they were quite different, the former being heart shaped.

He asked if I had seeds but I had no fresh ones so rounded them up from two tomato friends and sent them to him so he could see for himself.

So I know he'd probably make any changes I suggested to him.Actually years ago I started to proof his tomato blurbs for him, we agreed on this, but I never finished and didn't go back and seldom look at the site these days unless someone asks me to for a specific reason.

And he isn't the only one who wrongly believes that PP is genetically related to Brandywine, all b'c of that blurb that was written for PP at Pinetree Seeds.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 7:34AM
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I believe I have had Pruden's Purple in my tomato patch every year for at least 20 years. Brandywine, however, rarely makes the cut as, good as it is, it just has never produced enough for me to call it a favorite.

So far as taste goes I'd rank Mr. Brown's, Brandywine, Pruden's Purple, German Head, Granny Cantrell, and Ponderosa Pink NK strain all in the same ballpark so far as quality is concerned but with each having a suble essense of it's own, this justifying lots of divergent opinions.

Best approach might be to try them all and then grow them to the limit your space allows with the selections you favor most.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 9:54AM
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Prudens Purple is one that I have grown repeatedly for many years, and used to be my all time favorite. For me, it has been earlier and outproduced the Brandywines, doing better in my occasional cooler conditions. At present, Earl's Faux is my favorite in taste and also does well, so I feel no need to go back and retry the other Brandywine varieties (other than Yellow Brandywine, which remains among the top yellows for me.)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 10:37AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Hello folks,

This is my first year growing PP. I have questions. When I prune the lower 10-12 inches of this plant of leaves and suckers - the suckers come right back within 2-3 days - even growing from below the soil. Is this a normal occurance for PP?? The plants are doing quite well and have trusses with 5-6 flowers/fruit at almost every leaf. Is this a normal occurance for PP?? Thanks.

BTW - I grow in Earth**Boxes.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 1:54AM
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This is the best tomato we've ever grown. Had an excellent 2010 summer here in NJ. While NJ has probably the best tomatoes in the country, this was outstanding. We ordered a Cherokee Purple, but luckily they were out of it and sent the Prudence (this is what our tag stated) Purple as a replacement. The only complaint I had was that we only ordered one.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 4:01PM
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Last year was my first to grow heirloom or OP varieties. Turned out to be a lousy year in North Texas to grow tomatoes hybrid or OP. Of the eight or ten varieties I planted, Prudence Purple performed the best with some production and decent taste. I got a few mid season fruit from four PP plants. What really impressed me was the fact that they kept on blooming and dropping the blooms in the heat while the other plants gave up the ghost and died. They kept on trying to fruit into fall, but I was feeling merciful and pulled them. I don't think they really had the opportunity to shine the way I think they could in decent weather. I'm not planting it this year, but probably will next year.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:34PM
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