How Are Tomato Seed Dispersed?


Tomato plants are now a staple in the home garden. Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and lycopene. Lycopene helps ward off many cancers.


  • Tomato plants originally come from South and Central America along the Andes Mountains. Wildlife readily dispersed tomato seeds throughout countries such as Bolivia, Chile and Peru.


  • Tomato seeds can be dispersed by birds and foraging animals. Animals excrete the undigested seeds miles away from the original plant. Half-eaten fruit was often carried and dropped miles away from the original plant.


  • The ovary of a flower grows, ripens and develops one or more seeds. This is how fruit form. Tomatoes are fruits.

History in America

  • Tomato plants bear a strong resemblance to deadly nightshade. During Colonial Times, they were imported and grown for decoration until considered to be a human food source in the mid 1830s. Birds and foraging animals ate the tomato fruit and dispersed seed throughout North America.


  • The dispersed seeds of tomato plants grew well in areas where there was plentiful rainfall, full sun and well-drained soil.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Jose Oquendo
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