Red Currant Tomato (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium)
/ AKA Spoon Tomato
From Totally Tomatoes: (65 days). Actually a different
plant species, Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium, than garden tomatoes,
but capable of crossing with them. Pea-sized fruits - just 1/4"
in diameter - possess a crunchy, fruity flavor that is ideal
for salads and snacks. More vigorous vines than the shattering-type,
15 to 20 fruits are produced per branching cluster, with loads
of flowers putting on a show in late June. Indeterminate.
From Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium)
Currant tomatoes are essentially wild tomatoes, little changed
by domestication. Vines are long indeterminate with an open growth
habit and generally good disease resistance. Fruits are the size
of a berry, 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter. Flavor is intense,
sweet and piquant. They are specially suited as salad accents
and for the specialty restaurant trade. Seeds are small.
From Plants For A Future
Annual growing to 1m by 0.5m . It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost
tender. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds
ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have
both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The
plant is self-fertile. We rate it 4 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid,
neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires moist soil.
Habitats and Possible Locations
Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use. Sweet and delicious,
it makes an excellent dessert fruit and is also used in savory
dishes as a vegetable. The fruit is rather small and fiddly, about
10 - 15mm in diameter, but it is produced in quite large bunches
and is well worth the effort of picking.
An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is small and
it would be very fiddly to utilize. It is only viable to use the
seed as a source of oil if large quantities of the plants are
being grown for their fruits and the seed is not wanted.
Cardiac; Homeopathy; Odontalgic; Skin.
The pulped fruit is an extremely beneficial skin-wash for people
with oily skin. Sliced fruits are a quick and easy first aid treatment
for burns, scalds and sunburn.
A decoction of the root is ingested in the treatment of toothache.
The skin of tomato fruits is a good source of lycopine, a substance
that has been shown to protect people from heart attacks. It seems
to be more effective when it is cooked and so can be obtained
from food products such as tomato ketchup and tinned tomatoes.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the
treatment of rheumatism and severe headaches.
The strong aroma of this plant is said to repel insects from
A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Used in making soap.
Requires a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position.
Plants are not frost-hardy. They can be grown outdoors in Britain
as a spring-sown annual started off under glass in the spring.
In cool wet summers the total yields are likely to be low.
A form of tomato with a small but delicious tasting fruit, it
is often treated as a separate species. There are some named varieties.
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is
usually quick and good. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots
of fairly rich compost as soon as the first true leaf appears
and plant them out after the last expected frosts.
Seed can also be sown in situ under a cloche at the end of April,
though in a cool summer the results may be disappointing.
The seedcoat may carry tomato mosaic virus. However, by sowing
the seed 15mm deep the seedcoat will remain below the soil surface
when the seed germinates and the disease will be inactivated.