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What are the Different Tomato Varieties?

By Kerrie Main
Updated May 16, 2024
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No matter how the name is pronounced, a tomato can come in many varieties with a wide range of sizes and colors. Tomatoes were yellow- and orange-colored at the beginning of tomato cultivation, with the color red becoming more prevalent through many years of breeding. There are hundreds of different types of tomatoes in colored varieties including red, orange, yellow, white, green, purple, and black. Some tomatoes, like Heirloom and cherry, come in many varieties, as well.

Many people consider red tomato varieties the most popular, including Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes. When many people think of the taste of a tomato, they relate it to the flavor of this variety. Pink varieties have similar flavors to the red ones, but some consider them to be less vibrant. Some pink types include Pink Girl and Brandywine.

Orange tomato varieties include Persimmon and Mountain Gold. This type typically is sweeter than red tomatoes and usually tastes more like fruit due to the higher sugar content. Yellow varieties are similar to the orange type and usually are less tangy than red tomatoes. This tomato variety includes Golden Boy and Garden Peach. Green tomato varieties ripen green and usually have lower acidic values than red tomatoes.

Some rare varieties are white tomatoes, which typically are the lowest in acidic content of all tomatoes and are considered bland by some people. They include Ghost Cherry and Snow White. Purple and black tomato varieties usually have a more robust and smoky flavor than red tomatoes, and include Cherokee Purple and Black Krim.

In most of the colored varieties, there also are variations between open-pollinated or hybrid tomato plants, as well as determinant or indeterminate growth patterns. Open pollinated varieties keep the characteristics of the parent plant every year. Taking pollen from one pollinated tomato and putting it into a different already-pollinated tomato typically creates a hybrid tomato variety.

Determinant tomato varieties usually have compact bushes or plants, and typically stop growing when the fruits ripen. Their tomatoes tend to ripen around the same time period, usually a two-week period, and they then die. Some people call the indeterminate varieties vine tomatoes. They are known to continue growing and producing fruit until frost kills them, and the fruit blooms at all times during the season.

When planning to grow tomatoes in a vegetable garden, many people research what type of variety grows best in their region. They plant several types of tomatoes in the same garden to see which types grow and taste better. There are many varieties to choose from and many places to buy seeds, including numerous online resources.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By truman12 — On May 04, 2012

Has anyone tried the white tomatoes that the article talks about? What are they like?

By Ivan83 — On May 04, 2012

I went to a tomato festival last year and I could not believe how many heirloom tomato varieties there were. Every color and size and shape imaginable was there.

And the flavor was routinely amazing. Some were very mild, others were sweet and bold, others had a meatiness and some were almost spicy as if they had been blended with a chili.

By nextcorrea — On May 03, 2012

I live in Missouri and spring is appearing all over the place. I am thinking about growing some veggies in my backyard this summer and tomatoes were the first thing that came to mind (I know, I know, tomatoes are not vegetables).

I live in an apartment and will have to grow everything in containers in the backyard. It gets full sun back there. What are the best tomato varieties to grow in containers in my part of the country? Also, when should I plant them? I thought it was in April but someone told me that was way too early.

By summing — On May 02, 2012

There are so many different tomato plant varieties but I think my favorite are yellow grape tomatoes. My wife grows them every summer and I eat them like candy. She actually has to tell me not to pull so many off the plant. If she didn't look out I would probably eat them all myself.

I love cooking with them too. The flavor is so rich and sweet. And the color looks amazing in salads.

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