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Plant Informational Database

Galapagos Island Tomato

Solanum chessmanii

A small wild tomato native to the Galapagos Islands. Fruits are small, somewhat like the currant tomato. They ripen to a yellow-orange color and are edible, with a good, typical acid tomato flavor. The plant is of particular interest for its resistance to a number of tomato pests and has been used to cross breed with regular tomatoes to confer desired traits.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.

Description

A bushy annual with a standard tomato growth habit. Plants may reach 3-5ft and are most similar to certain cherry tomato varieties in growth and fruit production. The Galapagos Island tomato is distinctive and ornamental in a tomato garden, having smaller, ruffled leaves and profuse flowers. Fruits ripen quickly, in 50-60 days and seem to enjoy hot weather to set.

Hardiness

Not frost hardy.

Growing Environment

Grow like any tomato. Water regularly. Grow in full sun. In our experience plants only set fruit when weather is warm, unlike a number of standard tomato varieties.

Propagation

By seeds. Seeds generally germinate readily, but need several weeks germination time, especially if pulp capsule remains around seed. Germinate in 75-85F, moist soil. This species seems to be slower to germinate than standard tomatoes.

Uses

The fruits are edible and have a nice flavor. They are said to be popular with Galapagos Tortoises in their native range. The plants are of interest to tomato breeders as they are used to confer a number of desirable traits into standard tomato species.

Native Range

Native to the Galapagos Islands.

Additional Pictures

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