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Black Tomato Varieties

Dark reddish-black skin covers black tomato varieties, a strain of plants developed by gardeners on the Crimean Peninsula. Even though tomatoes are native to South America, black tomatoes traditionally found favor in western Russia. These fruits have a flavor that is "earthy" and sweetly tangy. About 50 varieties of black tomatoes exist, but seek out those with fruits that don't tend to split open when ripe.

Black Krim

The "Black Krim" is one of the oldest varieties of black tomatoes and originated on the Isle of Krim in the southern Ukraine. The plants are indeterminate, producing sprawling stems that grow indefinitely. The very darkened red tomato fruits are in the range of 10 to 12 oz. Expect harvestable fruits in 75 to 80 days after planting.

Black Zebra

"Black Zebra," a deep burgundy tomato, has irregular dark green stripes on the outside and mahogany-colored flesh. The indeterminate-type plants are vigorous and yield an abundance of 3- to 4-oz fruits about 75 days after planting.

Black From Tula

The "Black From Tula" is a Russian heirloom variety from the city of Tula in Russia. Its 8- to 14-oz tomatoes develop an unusual, rich smoky taste and deep brown to blackened-maroon skin. This indeterminate-type plant matures in 75 to 80 days and grows well even in regions with hot summers.

Japanese Black Trifele

The "Japanese Black Trifele" tomato fruits are blemish-free and don't crack. It's actually a selection from Russia, forming plump pear-shaped fruits on its bushy stems in about 80 days. Skin is dark red with large smears of black-red.

Black Cherry

The variety "Black Cherry" abundantly produces fruits in abundance on the indeterminate stems. These small cherry-sized fruits have a smoky flavor and are harvested about 65 days after plants are put in the ground. It is great in containers or supported in an upright wire cage in the ground.

Black Prince

From Irkutsk, Siberia, "Black Prince" develops 10-oz tomatoes of a drab mahogany color. It ripens fruits in 70 to 75 days on its sprawling, indeterminate stems, making it a good choice for regions with shorter summers.

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