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Cherokee Purple Tomato Art Pack

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  • Illustration by Bobbi Angell.
  • The deep hued flesh and smoky flavor set Cherokee Purple apart from the rest.
  •! Cherokee Purple in a tomato taste-off.

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Solanum lycopersicum

Certified Organic Seed

Let this opal, smoky tomato be the breakout star of your garden.

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Availability: In stock



Now a much loved heirloom tomato, Cherokee Purple was once a little known, unnamed variety. In 1990, Craig LeHoullier, a Seed Saver's Exchange member and tomato connoisseur, received a small package of tomato seeds and a note from John Green of Tennessee. In his note John explained this variety had been given to him from his neighbors, who had received seeds from members of the Cherokee tribe 100 years prior. Craig grew it, savoring the flavor and the unique deep purple color. He thought it was worth sharing so he approached Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and Johnny's Select Seeds about making it commercially available under the name Cherokee Purple. They, too, became such big fans of this wonderful variety that an heirloom star was born.

Quick Facts

Number of Seeds 25 seeds
Spacing in Row 24 inches
Spacing Between Rows 36 inches
Planting Depth 1/4 inch
Days to Germination 5-10 days
Days to Maturity 80 days
Height at Maturity 48 inches
Width at Maturity 18 inches

How to Grow

Start seeds indoors early, about 10 weeks before last frost. Seeds germinate best at 80 degrees F. Do not over water, and keep temperature warm but not hot to prevent damping off. Transplant outdoors after threat of frost has passed. Cherokee purple is indeterminate but only grows up to 5' high. Provide with proper support. A bit of pruning increasing yield of fruit. Do not over water, and water at the base of the plant if possible to help reduce occurance of disease. Harvest when tomatoes are fully ripe for best flavor.

About the Artist

Illustration by Bobbi Angell. Bobbi is a botanical artist, printmaker and gardener. Her richly detailed pen and ink illustrations appear in a wide variety of scholarly and commercial publications and her copper etchings are often featured in exhibits. Primarily a scientific illustrator for botanists at The New York Botanical Garden and other academic institutions, she has reached a popular audience through 12 years of illustrating The New York Times garden column and its compilation books, and the popular North Hill Garden memoirs Our Life in Gardens and To Eat. Living deep in the hills of southern Vermont, Bobbi relies on her extensive rambling gardens for subject matter and inspiration. Her artwork is held in collections including The New York Botanical Garden, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Shirley Sherwood Collection, and Brooklyn Botanical Garden Florilegium.

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