Indigo Rose Tomato

We have tried a few new tomatoes this season. I was walking through our new Haygrove high tunnels, which we love -- and noticed the beautiful color on this new tomato variety. The variety is Indigo Rose, and it turns purple/ red to all purple. This tomato was breed at Oregon State University by a professor looking to create varieties with high levels of antioxidants. The chlorophyll genes this variety has creates the unusual color. From the professor:

Indigo Rose's genesis began in the 1960s, when two breeders – one from Bulgaria and the other from the United States – first crossed-cultivated tomatoes with wild species from Chile and the Galapagos Islands, Myers said. Some wild tomato species have anthocyanins in their fruit, and until now, tomatoes grown in home gardens have had the beneficial pigment only in their leaves and stems, which are inedible.

Graduate students working with Myers crossed together the lines carrying wild tomato species genes to create the population from which ‘Indigo Rose’ was selected.

Indigo Rose is a full-season cultivar in Oregon with an average first ripe date about 91 days after transplanting, which is about 13 days later than 'Siletz' and eight days later than 'Early Girl.' Fruit yield of Indigo Rose was similar to the heirloom cultivar 'Black Prince,' and significantly lower than 'Early Girl' and 'Siletz,' but Indigo Rose produced significantly more fruit than any of the cultivars in trial.  

The new tomato is released as an open pollinated variety, and as such, seed saved from self-pollinated plants will grow true and not produce hybrids. "It's also important to know that genetic engineering techniques are never used to develop these lines," Myers said. "These tomatoes are not GMO."

Indigo Rose Tomato
Indigo Rose Tomato
AthensLauren Cox