Duke of York
85 days, indeterminate
— The plants of 'Duke of York' are regular leaf, vigorous, and productive. Its fruits are a beautiful red color, globe to flattened-globe shaped, and weigh from two to eight ounces, averaging about six ounces each. The flesh is firm, meaty and tasty.
'Duke of York' was introduced by Moore & Simon of Philadelphia in their 1899 seed catalog.[1,2]
Although we have not discovered its exact pedigree, it is believed to be an old English variety. Moore & Simon went on to describe it as follows:
"One of the grandest Tomatoes recently introduced, color rich, glossy scarlet, similar to our Sutton's Gold Mine, splendid cropper, round in shape, flesh very firm, large size, fine flavor. A leading feature Of this superb variety is that it ripens its fruit more uniformly together than any known kind, whilst its profusion of clusters averaging eight and ten large evenly-formed clusters each, makes it conspicuously handsome. Ripens evenly to the stem, is a strong, healthy grower, not subject to rust or blight, is an enormous cropper, and produces until the vines are killed by frost, holding its size exceedingly well until the last picking. Quality the very best, very solid and meaty. It is in every way a desirable variety for market gardeners, as its beautiful appearance always insures an extra price. An excellent sort for late summer and fall. Plants should be 'set out' earlier than other late sorts."
A few years later in their 1904 seed catalog, J. Bolgiano of Baltimore exclaimed, "Of Special Value to Florida Growers
." They further stated, "Ripens evenly to the stem, is a strong, healthy grower, not subject to rust or blight, is an enormous cropper and produces until the vines are killed by frost, holding its size well until the last picking. Quality the very best, solid and meaty
As far as we can tell, 'Duke of York' has not been commercially available since the 1930s. We are happy to reintroduce it to gardeners for the 2017 season. Our stock was grown out from USDA accession number PI 644896 who received the seed sample in 1937 from Sutton & Sons, Ltd. of London, England. Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.