Good morning - 40 years ago I used to enjoy a tomato whose flavour was so memorable, I can still taste it.  However I cannot find the tomato or its name.  It was a firm, medium sized fruit but had very stiking green rays eminating from where the stalk joined the tomato.  From memory, there might have been seven or eigth of these green stripes on the tomato.  The flavour was extraordinary.  Can anyone identify this tomato or tell me where I might find this information?  I await a a reply, in anticipation.



  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    Only one I can think of is tiger tomato - if you google it you'll get loads of info and pics. I did notice one site listed it as a heritage variety.
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    Tigrella I grew a few years back

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Yep, I'd say Tigrella, too.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,906

    There's also one called green zebra, it's yellow and green.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,354

    There's also a type called Green Tiger but is hard to find.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Janie GJanie G Posts: 14

    To figrat, sotongeoff, Alina W, Zoomer44, and Bob The Gardener - I thank you very much indeed for your replies.  Invaluable information.  All I need to do is find some seed.  Can't tell you how grateful I am.  Happy gardening.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Tigrella has yellow/gold stripes rather than green. Are you sure about the colour of the stripes, Janie? And was it a red with green stripes?

    If your memory about the size is right, I doubt it was Green Tiger because GT is closer to a cherry. I also suspect Green Tiger is an invented name for marketing purposes. Seeds aren't available via the usual commercial sources and it's sold "exclusively" through supermarkets. But the anecdotal evidence suggests that saved seeds grow true to type, suggesting it's not a hybrid, which is unusual for supermarket "exclusives". The tomato might well exist under another already established name. Tomato history is littered with the re-naming of established varieties for marketing purposes.

    That you're talking about 40 years ago both helps and hinders the cause. It rules out a lot of the more recently developed bi-colours, but more than a few older varieties have also, unfortunately, disappeared.

    I'll get onto some tomato fanatic friends of mine and see if they have any thoughts.

  • Janie GJanie G Posts: 14

    Many thanks, Italophile for your response.  Those who previously assisted me very kindly, lead me to research Tigrella.  Your doubts confirm my thoughts. Unfortunately, Tigrella  is not the tomato I am searching for.  Tigrella seems to be a red tomato with green stripes throughout the whole tomato.  The tomato I am looking for is a medium sized red tomato but the green stripes are only seen on the shoulder of the tomato eminating from where the stalk joins the tomato.  Your efforts to contact your tomato fanatic friends would be much appreciated.  My 94 year old mum had one wish on her birthday and that was to taste these beautiful tomatoes again.  Nothing would delight me more than to grant her wish.  To tell her that Gardener's World Forum is searching for this tomato will give her a huge boost.  Many many thanks for you efforts. 

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Okay, Janie, that's called red with green shoulders rather than stripes. Tomato terminology gets very technical! image

    It should rule out Green Tiger, too, or whatever it's really called, though GT isn't anything like medium-sized anyway.

    I'll get back to you when I can.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Janie, it has just occurred to me that vivid green shoulders often appear on what are termed the "black" varieties - toms that originated in and around the Crimea. Some of them are very dark-skinned, apparently (but not really) black, but some have more red. I'll look into how many were around roughly 40 years ago.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,354

    I agree, Italophile, it sounds like a green-shouldered variety and isn't Green Tiger.

    I wonder if it is related to Marmande (one of my favourites), which often has green shoulders but is rather too large to be the actual one.  I also grow Brandywine which has the green shoulders but, again, is too large.  I think many of the potato-leaved varieties may have the colouration mentioned.  While looking for these, I came across this site (go to the tomato seeds section):

    I'll definitely be looking there for some interesting varieties for next year, when it comes to seed buying time!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Some nice varieties on offer there, Bob, but the Pinks are a bit limited. There are some glorious Pink toms kicking around like Marianna's Peace. I think it pushes Brandywine for flavour.

    It's the time-frame that's the key, I think. The "blacks" - that can produce some striking green shoulders - weren't widely available 40 years ago. They've became fashionable in the last 10-15 years.

    A couple of my fanatical grower friends got back to me. They're in the U.S., the home of heirloom tomato fanatics, so their knowledge of what might have been available in the UK at the time is limited, unortunately.

    Bob, I think you're on the right track with something like Marmande - even if it isn't the one - because it was more than likely a European vartiety.

    Janie, if you're still around, do you remember where the tomato came from? A shop? Someone's garden?

    And just to get a better idea of the green shoulders, do you recall it looking anything like this?


    Or this?




  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Just bumping this for Janie to see it and respond.

  • Janie GJanie G Posts: 14

    Good morning - I am indebted to Italophile and Bobthegardener for your recent discussions about my lost tomatos and am thrilled to read your observations.  To answer some of your queries - it was not a blackish tomato, it was quite reddish with lovely green shoulders.  From what I remember, it was a smoothish tom rather than a knobbly one but I might be wrong but what was so striking, was the flavour.  I have never tasted the like since.  We used to buy them on Grantham market every Saturday and the stall holder only sold tomatoes and there was a queue every week so you had to go early to get some!!   Italophile, if the second tomato picture has a magnificent flavour, I would say that you are on the right lines - the picture with three tomatoes shows the green stripes eminating from the centre of the tomato.  This is a feature I remember well.  Your assistance is much appriciated.  image Janie

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Janie, that they were from a market suggests they were probably homegrown.

    The first photo - the three toms together - is a German Johnson, an American heirloom from, from memory, around Virginia. I'm not sure how the seeds would have found their way to the UK that long ago.

    It's very similar to a tom called German Pink, a variety from, you guessed it, Germany. A lot closer to the UK than Virginia, USA. German Pink is a green-shouldered variety.

    Here's a German Pink:


    There's quite a bit of yellow on the shoulders in the photo. There's usually more green.

    The second photo - two toms, one with vivid green - is of an heirloom tom called Cherokee Purple. Absolutely delicious tom, rich in flavour. I grow them every year. But it can't have been your tom because Cherokee Purple has only been around for 20-odd years.

    Pity you never saw the plant from which the toms came. It would help narrow things down. For example, German Pink is a Potato Leaf variety, the leaves have virtually smooth edges, as distinct from the jagged, saw-tooth edges of the traditional tomato leaf.

  • Janie GJanie G Posts: 14

    Dear Italophile - thank you for your reply.   I really think it would be worth me trying to grow the Cherokee Purple (and Brandywine though my tomato was not a beef tom) just to  taste a delicious flavour again and since you grow them and are so knowledgable about tomatoes, you would not grow the wrong tomato for yourself.   I will try and find some plants if it is not too late or have to wait till next season with seed.  I have learned so much from this forum.  Many thanks Janie

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Janie, you won't find Cherokee Purple plants anywhere. Seeds are available commercially. I have saved seeds for CP and a number of other even nicer heirlooms. Marianna's Peace, for example, rivals Brandywine for flavour, I think. I can send you any number of seeds if you like.

    Here's a link to my gardening blog (which, I'm ashamed to admit, I haven't updated in eons). You can let me know your email address and/or name and address by posting in the comments section. I won't publish the details.

    BTW, the posts on the blog about flowers are by my wife!

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Mmm. You'll have to cut and paste that address into your browser. I don't know why posting links is so difficult on these boards.

  • Janie GJanie G Posts: 14

    Dear Italophile.  Thank you for your offer of seed.  I have looked into sending my details via your very interesting blog site but I see it is via google and I am concerned at google security.  However, your sheer delight at talking tomatoes is so infectious and I have been enthused by your responses that I will strive to find tasty tom seed here in the UK.  I will enjoy going through your blog at my leisure and wish you well now and always. Janie

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    There wouldn't be any security problem, Janie, nothing is stored, it would be deleted as soon as I read it. But anyway, no problems. For true flavour you're going to have to go with heirlooms and you'll probably only find them with online seed suppliers. Here are a couple of recommendations for you to look for:

    Marianna's Peace - as I said, a tomato great. Large dark pink beefsteak on a potato leaf plant. Like a glass of fine red wine.

    Cherokee Purple - it's mentioned on the blog. Its sister, Cherokee Chocolate, also on the blog, isn't far behind. Doesn't have quite the same intensity of flavour.

    Brandywine OTV - another dark pink befsteak on a potato leaf plant. The result of an accidental cross between a Brandywine and an unknown yellow tom, grown out and stabilised by a couple of American growers. More productive and less temperamental than Brandywine and a delicious tom.

    Soldacki - a Polish variety, yet another dark pink beefsteak on a PL plant. Beautiful tom.

    Best of luck!


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