Tomato plant characteristics

What is the tomato plant?

Characteristics of the tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum)

Herb of the Solanaceae family up to 400 cm tall. Pinnate or bipinnate leaves with highly divided, acute, paired leaflets with a larger terminal leaflet. Yellow flowers in cymes.

Berrytomato plant fruit, green when young and red as it matures. Inside, it contains numerous seeds.

Tomato history

Tomatoes were one of the most common fruits in the Inca, Aztec and Mayan cultures, although it seems that they were cultivated as early as 700 BC.

Since the tomatoes grown in Europe at that time were yellow in color, the Italians called it Pomodoro (= Golden apple) and in France “Pomme d’amour” (= Apple of love).

In Great Britain tomatoes were not as successful as in these two countries. At first, as it was known that the plant was toxic, like the potato plant (See potato toxicity), the British were very reluctant to use its fruits as food and intended its use as a gardening plant. In fact, the scientific name of the species Lycopersicum means wolf fish in Latin and was given by the British. Its use in the kitchen of this country did not become intensive until the 18th century.

Similarly, the tomato acquired the same reputation as a pernicious fruit in North America. There, he was initially held responsible for the disease known as tomato heart disease, a kind of condition related to angina pectoris.

punto rojo More information on tomatoes

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

4 May, 2023

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