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Home>Vegetable Seeds>Tomato>Brown & Black
Cherokee Purple Tomato
'Cherokee Purple' tomato.
Cherokee Purple Tomato
Item Id: 3400251 review

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20 seed Packet
0.25 gram
1 gram
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Cherokee Purple Slow Food USA - Ark of Taste

80 days, indeterminate — This is one of the early heirloom varieties that found its way out of closed seed saving circles and into the awareness of mainstream gardeners. The vines have relatively dense, regular leaf foliage that have a tendency to curl upwards. Although now relatively commonplace, 'Cherokee Purple' was one of the first varieties publicly available with dark, dusky, purplish hues.

The fruits are large (twelve to sixteen ounces), dark pink with darker purple shoulders and have an excellent, full, complex flavor, with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is a perfect slicer for tomato sandwiches or chunked in salads.

Given to author and tomato authority Craig LeHoullier in 1990 by John "J.D." Green of Sevierville, Tennessee. J.D. reported that he had been given the seeds by a neighbor whose family had received them from Cherokee Indians some hundred years prior. There are approximately 90 to 100 seeds per 0.25 gram.

Informational References:
  1. "100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden," Dr. Carolyn Male, Workman Publishing, 1999, pages 84-85.
  2. "Epic Tomatoes: How To Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time," Craig LeHoullier, Storey Publishing, 2015, page 50-51, 67, 116, 127, 211, 241.
Customer Reviews Average Rating review
Great taste and very vigorous
I have a small garden where disease problems are inevitable--please keep that in mind when reading. Now, on to the review: I grew these, Amish Paste, Goliath, and Old Brooks in containers in the only sunny spot on my patio, which is unavoidably close to where I grew peppers last year. These did the best of the four. All were affected by early blight, but in Cherokee Purple it was barely noticeable (they were eventually killed by late blight, which is typical around here). Cherokee Purple was not affected by the anthracnose which affected the others, or by the Septoria leaf spot which affected the Amish Paste. They also had very good flavor. There was some cracking even though they were in self-watering containers, but I don't mind that. Only down side is that friends, and even one family member, were put off by the "strange" color and did not want gifts of these tomatoes. Well--more for me! Overall, these gave us heirloom taste with better than hybrid-level robustness--very impressed!
Reviewed by: Alison Dvorak from zone 6b. on 12/30/2016
Excellent germ, as expected from Victory; no pest or disease problems at all; I will say that again: at all. I am the only person in the neighborhood whose 'maters did not blight out. I've never seen the like. These are not tomato vines, these are tomato trees, complete with bark at the bottom; dark green foliage so heavy they had to be pruned. Started setting a bit earlier than expected, but those fruits were not the biggest, about a pound. Those that started on sched easily went 2 lbs, and they kept on coming until frost-kill; slight tendency to crack after ripening begins. Purples being new to me, I did let the first few over-ripen, but there were more than enough others to cover my shame. Best flavor ever, perfect on a nice fat burger; dehydrates and reconstitutes perfectly. This is the tomato for my area, bar none.
Reviewed by: David Emigh from NW PA. on 12/1/2013
One of my favorites
Under normal circumstances, Cherokee Purple is a favorite in my garden. I love its sweet flavor and the fruits are super meaty so they are great for sweet sauces like catsup and BBQ sauce. They can also take a good bit of abuse as far as temperatures go although did struggle this year in my garden but temperatures have been right at the 100F mark most all summer where normally we're about 5F below that. My only complaint about Cherokee Purple is I find I have to be really careful and make sure they get consistent water or they do crack. I still love them.
Reviewed by: Regina Coffelt from Idaho Desert. on 9/3/2013
One of my favorite varieties...
The seeds had a good germination rate. I didn't experience the large fruits but the plants produced well into the later part of the growing season. They have a well balanced flavor that complements a nicely grilled burger. I introduced them to my father in-law and now he waits for me to grow them every year.
Reviewed by: Vinny Hall from Livonia Michigan . on 8/28/2013
Really big!
Really large tomatoes, sweet, a bit too sweet for some tastes. Very attractive when sliced - sort of purple and green and pink. Very productive plants.
Reviewed by: Ruth Lestina from Wexford, PA. on 9/3/2011
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