The scientific name for the tomato is Solanum lycopersicum. It is a nightshade and belongs to the same family as potatoes. While the tomato is technically a botanical fruit, it is considered a vegetable by U.S. customs and in culinary arts.
Tomatoes are native to the South American Andes and are a perennial plant there, although they are grown as annuals everywhere else in the world. They were first used as food in Mexico and spread quickly after the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
Tomatoes are the state vegetable of New Jersey, the state vegetable and fruit of Arkansas and the state fruit of Ohio.