86 days, indeterminate
— 'Cardinal' has interesting, attractive plants that produce good amounts of small to medium sized (two to ten ounce), beautiful red colored, flattened globe shaped fruits. They have a good flavor and are slightly tart.
Discovered in a field of Livingston's 'Acme' tomatoes.[1,2,3]
It was released in 1884 by the W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company
. Here is what they had to say:
"This new Tomato, now offered for the first time, was discovered four years since, in a field of Acmes, from which it was readily distinguished, not only by the fruit, but also by the foliage, which is entirely distinct. It has been carefully cultivated, and maintains a remarkable perfection in all that can be desired in a Tomato."
It must have been very popular as it was listed by other seed companies within a couple of years.
When doing variety preservation work, especially working to document pre-twentieth century varieties, it is rare to find such an abundance of documentation to compare modern seed samples against. In this case, 'Cardinal' was introduced just about the time that chromolithographic printing became available. Burpee's 1894 seed catalog contained three prints using this technology, and 'Cardinal' was one of them!
Our original seed was from USDA, ARS accession number PI 270175 sent to us by David Pendergrass
. There was an "All-America Selection®
" winner in 1938 by this same name but we do not believe that it is the same variety. Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.