Characteristics of Tomato Plants

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Tomatoes are a perfect addition to salads, soups and other dishes.
Tomatoes are a perfect addition to salads, soups and other dishes. (Image: tomato plant image by Crisps85 from Fotolia.com)

Tomato plants are excellent additions to any garden or plant nursery. These plants grow nutrient-dense tomatoes and sprout large green foliage throughout the stems and stalks of the plant. The size and shape of the plant depend on the species. This plant typically needs supportive tomato cages to keep the plant up right because the tomatoes grow on a flexible vine. Without a tomato cage the plant will spread out on the ground or over flow out of its pot.

Sizes

Tomato plants can grow up to 10 feet tall, but most plants are less than three feet tall on average. The size of the tomato varies depending on the plant species. Cherry tomato plants produce small, cherry-sized tomatoes. Other plants such as The Paste and San Marzano produce larger tomatoes that are about the size of an apple.

Most types of tomatoes fit in the palm of your hand.
Most types of tomatoes fit in the palm of your hand. (Image: tomato vine image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Colors

The colors vary depending on how ripe the tomatoes are, but some tomatoes are orange or even pinkish when ripe. However, red is the prominent color seen in many species, such as Early Girl and Beefsteak. Some orange varieties are Persimmon and Hawaiian Pineapple. Orange tomatoes have a more fruity flavor. Other colors include purple, green, white and yellow. The Greman Green Stripe, Green Zebra and Green Moldovan are green tomatoes that are lower in acid, but have a very strong flavor.

Yellow and white tomatoes are more bland than other varieties. Some species of yellow are Yellow Stuffer and Garden Peach. Two common white varieties are White Beauty and Ghost Cherry. Purple tomatoes such as the Cherokee Purple have a rich smoky flavor.

Tomatoes can be many colors.
Tomatoes can be many colors. (Image: colorful tomatoes image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Shapes

Tomatoes are generally round, but some variations in shape are seen among different species. Some types are long and tubular or bell-shaped. The Banana Legs species are yellow and tubular-shaped. They are generally four inches long and two inches thick. The Cuban Yellow Grape species is oval or shaped like a grape. Fargo tomatoes and Yellow Bell are both pear-shaped. The Golden Sweet Hybrid tomatoes grow about three inches long and they are circular at the center. The Yellow Pear species is also bell-shaped and Yellow Plum tomatoes are shaped like plums.

Cherry tomatoes are small and round.
Cherry tomatoes are small and round. (Image: cherry tomatoes image by Curtis Sorrentino from Fotolia.com)

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