Definitions

Brandywine (tomato)

Brandywine (tomato)

The Brandywine tomato plant is an heirloom cultivar of the species, with large potato-leaved foliage and which bears large pink beefsteak-shaped fruit.

Description

Brandywine tomatoes can bear fruit up to 1 lb (0.5 kg), requiring 80 to 100 days to reach maturity, making it among the slowest maturing varieties of common tomato cultivars. Brandywine has been described as having a "great tomatoey flavor", (others have called it a beautifully sweet tomato that is offset by a wonderful acidity), leading to heavy usage despite the original cultivar's relatively low yield per plant. Its fruit has the beefsteak shape and pinkish flesh, as opposed to the deep red of more common store bought varieties. Even when fully ripe, the tomato can have green shoulders near the stem.

The Brandywine tomato plant also has potato leaves, an unusual variation on the tomato plant whose leaves are smooth and oval with a pointy tip, instead of jagged and fjord-like the way "normal" tomato plant leaves are.

History

There are many questions as to the origin of the Brandywine cultivar. Burpee reports carrying it in their catalogue as early as 1886, and references to it older than that. There is no evidence that Brandywine has Amish origins.

It reached modern popularity after being introduced via the Seed Savers Exchange in 1982 by an elderly Ohio gardener named Ben Quisenberry. He received the variety from a woman named Dorris Sudduth Hill who could trace Brandywine in her family for over 80 years. Brandywine has become one of the most popular home garden cultivars in the United States. Due to the proliferation of many misidentified varieties, the pink-fruited, potato-leaved Brandywine is sometimes labeled Brandywine (Sudduth's).

See also

References

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