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LYCOPERSICON esculentum 'Persimmon'

Image of Lycopersicon esculentum 'Persimmon'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

LYCOPERSICON esculentum 'Persimmon'

Plant Common Name

Persimmon Tomato, Tomato

General Description

The large, smooth, sunset orange fruits of this beautiful heirloom have an exceptionally substantial, sweet, rich flavor. ‘Persimmon’ is thought to date back to at least the 1800’s, and is said by some sources to have been grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in 1781. These tomatoes are wonderful for cooking or fresh eating, and look gorgeous sliced and served with tomatoes of other colors. They are borne on indeterminate vines, and begin ripening approximately 80 days from sowing.

Plant tomatoes in full sun and fertile, well-drained, slightly acid garden loam after all danger of frost has passed. Seedlings may be started indoors under grow-lights several weeks ahead of time, and should be hardened off before planting outdoors. Set them deeply in the ground for best establishment; the main stem will form roots beneath the soil’s surface. Indeterminate types such as this should be staked, trellised or grown in tomato cages to contain their rambling stems.

These veggies (technically, fruits) are heavy feeders, and it is important to provide them with regular water and nutrients. Be sure to choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for tomatoes, and avoid excessive watering as this can result in cracking of fruit and diminished flavor. Best production and flavor occurs when both days and nights are warm. Tomatoes become tough and less flavorful in cooler temperatures, and thus should not be stored in the refrigerator. In semi-tropical climates, they may even be grown as a winter crop, as long as temperatures remain favorable.

For more detailed information about the care, pests and diseases, and history of tomatoes, refer to the general entry for the species (Lycopersicon esculentum) in the Learn2Grow plant database.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-8' / 0.6m - 2.4m

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes