Cherokee Purple Cherry Tomato?

springtogarden(6)August 19, 2014

I bought Cherokee Purple Tomato seeds and instead I have a cherry size tomato. I grew them last year and had full sized tomatoes. This year, I bought seeds from a different company. Has anyone had this happen before? Could my seeds be a hybrid? I am attaching a photo. They look bigger because the pic is close up but they are the size of a regular cherry tomato.

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Are they tasty? Do they taste like Cherokee Purple?

I've heard people say that CP isn't all that stable. I would save the seeds and see if you get the cherry size next year - that's if you like cherry tomatoes of course!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:43PM
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goodground(z6 NJ)

They probably sent you the wrong variety. Where did you get the seeds? Possibly black cherry? I have grown Cherokee Purple from seed year after year and never got cherry size. CP is a heirloom so no need to keep buying seeds. I always take seeds from a large tomato for the following year. If you plant the same seeds again, my guess is that you will get cherries.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Hi Linda, They are very tasty and to me taste the similar to CP so I am a bit baffled. It is a vigorous plant with lots of these little cherries all over it. I will try saving some seeds since I like it but I will go back to my old seed packet for the regular sized ones too.

Hi Goodground, I got them from a regular brand from my local garden store. I have them put away in my freezer but I will dig them out and see which brand it is. I will grow the other year's seeds from a different company and save them because I like the big ones for sandwiches etc. Do Black Cherries taste like CPs? They are tasty so if that is what they are, I will grow them on purpose next time lol. I just googled Black Cherry and it does look like a "mini" Cherokee Purple and my tomatoes. I think you solved the mystery!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:36PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Cherokee Purple has been stable from the time that Craig was sent the seeds for it and that was in about 1991 and he first SSE listed it and named, it and that was back in about 1992. I wasone of the first to grow it since Craig is a good friend/

I've never seen reference to a CP cherry so what you were sent is a mystery right now.

Yes, there are other dark colored cherries, such as:

Black Cherry
Chocolate Cherry, bred by Aaron Whaley
Brownberry, bred by Sahin Seeds inHolland
Austin's Black Cherry

and a new one not yet available called Black Opal, which one of my seed producers is working with

And some favor the taste of some over others, there are threads here about that, so no consensus although I think Black Cherry, bred by Vince Sapp may be ahead right now.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:51PM
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PupillaCharites(FL 9a)

It might be easier to check a few basic things to be convinced yourself it isn't CP, like, How many tomatoes are on the truss - is it like cherry tomatoes, a long set of them, or does it come out more in in clusters? Then I'd cut them horizontally and see if any had a mass of flesh in the core, with multiple lobules (seed pockets) or if it's like most cherry tomatoes á¡D (seed pockets). Not sure how well that could exclude CP, but it sounds good.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:52PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Most cherry varieties do not have that long truss trait you refer to which is due to a specific gene that is bred into the more popular ones such as Sweet Million and friends and usually with the F1 hybrid cherries..

Black Cherry and all the ones I listed above do not have the long truss trait.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:48AM
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They sure look like the Black Cherry tomatoes I've grown in the past. I didn't like the tough skins, so haven't been growing them lately.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:35AM
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PupillaCharites(FL 9a)

"Most cherry varieties do not have that long truss trait "

Thanks Carolyn, I learn something good every time you post. You mentioned that CP is stable, but mainly I was looking for some practical trait that would nail the question closed with a rational newcomers like myself can say, "Oh, that makes sense!". Speculating on what it is, likely is more difficult than ruling out "Is this Cherokee Purple?".

Perhaps by toughness of skin even^^^, but you gals know better!,

PC, who feels like a backwards Cherokee Purple today ;-)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:03PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

There are many so called blacks, that have a clear epidermis, Black From Tula has a clear epidermis as well, as does of course Cherokee Purple.

If the epidermis is yellow then the fruits are a much darker color, ones like Black Krim and Carbon/

I can think of no traits that would ID what's shown here that would ID it as CP, especially the small size, which CP has never shown to my knowledge.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:28PM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

I am surprised no one has asked this yet.

How hot has it been there?

If it has been over 95 or so for a couple of weeks after the initial fruit set then the fruit tends to stunt. They will ripen the small size they are. I have had this happen more times than not. It continues to happen with the larger fruited ones in my garden.

There were a few days of not as hot weather, and the humidity was lower. So some set some fruit. The 100 degree heat kicked back into full swing. results were golf ball sized tomatoes from plants that until the heat hit were giving half pound plus sized fruit. Cherokee Purple, and Black Krim did it the most. German Johnson gave some that were a tad bit bigger than the others, though they were still way undersized.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Thanks all for your help! I am learning so much from all of you :). I do believe it is a black cherry and I am really happy to have found this one accidentally. We all love it and I plan on growing again. I haven't been online much due to fighting a bug invasion in my tomatoes. I am trying to save them.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 2:15AM
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