What Kind Of Tomatoes Are Purple? (12 Purple Tomato Varieties)


Tomatoes come in all shapes and colors, but purple is one of my favorites.  They might seem hard to find, but once you start looking, purple tomatoes are everywhere.

So, what kind of tomatoes are purple?  Purple tomato varieties include: Black Beauty, Cherokee Purple, Dwarf Purple Heart, Evan’s Purple Pear, Indigo Ruby, Marizol Purple, Owen’s Purple, Purple Bumble Bee, Purple Reign, Purple Russian, Sunshine Blue, and Wine Jug.  There are dozens of other purple tomato varieties besides these ones.

Of course, the type of purple tomato you choose will depend on the size of the fruit and the plant itself.

In this article, we’ll talk about 12 purple tomato varieties and where to find them.  We’ll also answer some common questions about purple tomatoes.

Let’s get started.

What Kind Of Tomatoes Are Purple?

According to the Plants Database from the National Gardening Association, there are 63 tomato varieties with purple skin.

purple tomato
There are over 60 purple tomato varieties!

Here are 12 purple tomato varieties that you might want to try growing:

  • Black Beauty
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Dwarf Purple Heart
  • Evan’s Purple Pear
  • Indigo Ruby
  • Marizol Purple
  • Owen’s Purple
  • Purple Bumble Bee
  • Purple Reign
  • Purple Russian
  • Sunshine Blue
  • Wine Jug

Black Beauty Tomato

Black Beauty tomatoes have purple to black skin and red flesh.  The fruit is round and medium-sized, weighing about 6 ounces.

The Black Beauty tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Black Beauty tomatoes take 80 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Black Beauty tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Black Beauty tomato seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Cherokee Purple tomatoes have purple to black skin and reddish purple flesh.  The fruit is round and large, weighing 10 to 12 ounces.

Cherokee Purple tomato
Cherokee Purple tomatoes are large with purple skin.
Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cherokee.purple.jpg

The Cherokee Purple tomato variety can produce up to 20 fruits per plant.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 4 to 6 feet.

Cherokee Purple tomatoes take 80 to 90 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Cherokee Purple tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Cherokee Purple tomato seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Dwarf Purple Heart Tomato

Dwarf Purple Heart tomatoes have purple skin and deep crimson flesh.  The fruit is heart-shaped and medium to large, weighing from 6 to 16 ounces.

The Dwarf Purple Heart tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are determinate and only reach a height of 4 feet.

Dwarf Purple Heart tomatoes take 70 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Dwarf Purple Heart tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Dwarf Purple Heart tomato seeds from Victory Seeds.

Evan’s Purple Pear Tomato

Evan’s Purple Pear tomatoes have purple to black skin and purple flesh.  The fruit is pear-shaped and small, weighing 2 to 3 ounces.

The Evan’s Purple Pear tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Evan’s Purple Pear tomatoes take 70 to 80 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Evan’s Purple Pear tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Evan’s Purple Pear tomato seeds from Wild Boar Farms.

Indigo Ruby Tomato

Indigo Ruby tomatoes have reddish purple skin and reddish pink flesh.  The fruit is round and small, weighing 1 to 2 ounces.

The Indigo Ruby tomato variety produces clusters of 4 to 6 fruits.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Indigo Ruby tomatoes take 75 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Indigo Ruby tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Indigo Ruby tomato seeds from Gurney’s.

Marizol Purple Tomato

Marizol Purple tomatoes have purple to black skin and pink flesh.  The fruit is oblong and large, weighing 8 to 16 ounces.

The Marizol Purple tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 4 to 6 feet.

Marizol Purple tomatoes take 80 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Marizol Purple tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Marizol Purple tomato seeds from Sustainable Seed Company.

Owen’s Purple Tomato

Owen’s Purple tomatoes have reddish purple skin and reddish purple flesh.  The fruit is round and medium to large, weighing 6 to 16 ounces.

The Owen’s Purple tomato variety grows in cluster of 3 to 5 fruits.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Owen’s Purple tomatoes take 75 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Owen’s Purple tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Owen’s Purple tomato seeds from Renaissance Farms.

Purple Bumble Bee Tomato

Purple Bumble Bee tomatoes have purple, black, and green striped skin and reddish purple flesh.  The fruit is round and small, weighing 1 ounce or less.

The Purple Bumble Bee tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Purple Bumble Bee tomatoes take 70 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Purple Bumble Bee tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Purple Bumble Bee tomato seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Purple Reign Tomato

Purple Reign tomatoes have purple to black skin and reddish pink flesh.  The fruit is oblong and medium-sized, weighing 6 to 12 ounces.

The Purple Reign tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are determinate and grow to a height of 3 feet.

Purple Reign tomatoes take 75 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Purple Reign tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Purple Reign tomato seeds from Renaissance Farms.

Purple Russian Tomato

Purple Russian tomatoes have purple to black skin and purple to black flesh.  The fruit is oval shaped and medium-sized, weighing 5 to 7 ounces.

The Purple Russian tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Purple Russian tomatoes take 70 to 80 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Purple Russian tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Purple Russian tomato seeds from Seed Savers Exchange.

Sunshine Blue Tomato

Sunshine Blue tomatoes have blue to purple skin and dark red flesh.  The fruit is round and small, weighing 2 to 3 ounces.

The Sunshine Blue tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are determinate and can reach a height of 4 to 5 feet.

Sunshine Blue tomatoes take 100 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Sunshine Blue tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Sunshine Blue tomato seeds from Nikitovka Seeds.

Wine Jug Tomato

Wine Jug tomatoes have purple, brown, or black skin with spots and purple to black flesh.  The fruit is pear-shaped and small to medium-sized, weighing 3 to 9 ounces.

The Wine Jug tomato variety is open pollinated.  The plants are indeterminate and can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet.

Wine Jug tomatoes take 80 to 90 days from transplant to grow to maturity.

You can learn more about Wine Jug tomatoes on garden.org.

You can buy Wine Jug tomato seeds from Wild Boar Farms.

Are Purple Tomatoes Safe To Eat?

Purple tomatoes are safe to eat.  Although they look alien compared to the red tomatoes you are used to, purple tomatoes are edible and can have a great flavor.

Purple tomatoes also contain high amounts of anthocyanins.  These are the same compounds that make blueberries and blackberries their deep blue, purple, or black colors.

blue purple tomatoes
Purple tomatoes contain a high amount of anthocyanins, making them purple or black.

According to the Oregon State University Extension, anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid.  A flavonoid is a plant chemical that gives fruit color, and they may also have health benefits.

How To Tell When A Purple Tomato Is Ripe

There are 2 things that will help you to figure out when a purple tomato is ripe:

  1. Days To Maturity (along with transplant date)
  2. Firmness (ripe tomatoes start to soften up a bit)
purple tomato
Keep track of days to maturity and planting date, and feel tomatoes to see how firm they are to determine ripeness.

Days To Maturity

Pay attention to the “days to maturity” for your purple tomato variety.  This information is listed on the seed packet or product description online.

Also, use a calendar to record when you transplant your tomato plants into the garden.  Then, you can work forward to find out the approximate date when the first purple tomatoes will be ripe.

For example, let’s say you are growing Black Beauty tomatoes, which take 80 days from transplant to grow to maturity.  Assume that you transplant them outdoors on June 1.

Then 80 days later, on August 19 (30 days in June + 31 days in July + 19 days in August), your tomatoes should be about ready for harvest.  Note that this can vary depending on the weather and other conditions.

Before you harvest the fruit, it is also important to check the firmness of the tomatoes.

Firmness Of Fruit

To tell when a purple tomato is ripe, the best way is to feel the fruit itself.  Unripe tomatoes of any color will be hard.

Ripe tomatoes will feel a bit softer – they have a bit of “give” when you squeeze them.  Don’t squeeze the tomatoes too hard when doing this test or you will bruise them.

According to the Oregon State University, you should also check the bottom of the fruit, which will also turn purple when ripe.

Are Purple Tomatoes Genetically Modified?

Some purple tomatoes are genetically modified.  Other purple tomatoes are bred with crossing and plant selection methods.

purple blue tomatoes
Some purple tomatoes are genetically modified, while others are bred by crossing with wild tomato plants.

According to the Oregon State University Extension:

“breeders – one from Bulgaria and the other from the United States – first crossed-cultivated tomatoes with wild species from Chile and the Galapagos Islands … Some wild tomato species have anthocyanins in their fruit”

https://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/oregon-vegetables/purple_tomato_faq

Tomatoes bred in this way are not genetically modified.  Instead, they are selected for desirable traits (in this case, purple skin caused by anthocyanin content).

In other cases, purple tomatoes are genetically modified.  According to BBC, a gene from a snapdragon plant is spliced into a tomato plant.

This causes the tomato plant to produce fruit that contains anthocyanins, which give them their purple color.

Conclusion

Now you know all about purple tomatoes and where to find them.  If the 12 varieties of purple tomatoes listed here don’t interest you, there are dozens of others out there to explore.

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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