Black Tomatoes!

Hey friends! I know we have quite a few tomato growers here, so I thought some of you might enjoy seeing these very unusual tomatoes. Many of you, and myself, have undoubtedly seen purple tomatoes before, but these guys were touted on several seed sellers as a “true black” tomato, and marketed as the “first real black tomato” on more than one site. They are called “black Beauty”. I’m ashamed to admit that I paid about about $1 per seed for these guys, but I only bought 2 packs of 5-6 and thought it would be a fun gamble. Almost every vendor I checked this spring was sold out of these guys. Apparently they just came out in the last year or two (or maybe just started to become popular) and the vendors all said they couldn’t keep up with demand. I ended up finding them at some obscure vendor that, I’m sorry to tell you, I don’t even remember. But if you absolutely can’t find them elsewhere and want to know my source, I can probably track it down again if you ask.

Now, I cannot say they are “true black”, but I must admit they are very, very close to it! They are actually just an extremely dark purple, but in order to tell this you have to look on the very bottom center which turns “black” the last. In that area where it meets what little green is left, you can tell its a dark purple. HOWEVER, you honestly can call this a “Black” tomato and be pretty accurate. When fully ripe, especially on the top and sides, it is absolutely BLACK! I set it agaist some pure black items and even then you can’t discern the top and sides of these as being anything but true black. They actually look even blacker in person than in the photos. In short, these really are the first “black” tomatoes I’ve ever seen.

I’m not sure they have any real purpose other than being fun because they are unique. I’ve had a blast serving them to people and watching their reactions! Very fun. No one has ever seen anything like it. So if you, like myself, enjoy growing unusual things just for the fun of it, then I encourage you to buy and plant some “Black Beauty” tomatoes. I will also tell you that they are more of a novelty, though, than a really great tomato for general use. They taste good but just average. The tend to be a little on the dry side- ie not a really juicy tomato. Also, the plants aren’t all that productive- not extremely unproductive but they just don’t produce as many as most other tomatoes I grow. As for size, they are about average I guess. They get about the size of a tennis ball or slightly larger.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ll always grow them and I wouldn’t recommend you add them to your list of tomatoes for serious cooking and canning. But they are decent to eat, produce a decent amount of fruit, and most of all are VERY FUN because they are so unusaual. Cut up and drop into a salad and you’ll definitely get lots of strange looks and comments. I hope you enjoy these.

@Drew51 , I’m tagging you because I know you enjoy growing lots of tomato varieties and I thought you, especially, might get a kick out of these.


Those are interesting and would be fun to grow. Two yrs ago I had a big problem with anthracnose. I had that under control this year and the birds destroyed 80% of my tomatoes. I may only grow a few novelty tomato next year. You could save some of the seeds and see what you get next year.

One neighbor on each side of us grew black tomatoes last year and did not care for them, did not repeat the planting this year.

Interesting looking fruit, but something about it bothers me, kinda creepy. Can’t put my finger on it, tho. It looks like a black heart or something. It’s a Devil 'Mater!

I read that they’re very high in vitamin A, lycopene, and have the highest anthocyanin (a powerful antioxidant) content compared to non-black 'mater’s. So, they are certainly healthy for you. Unless you have reactions to these or other nightshade plants.

I don’t think I can swing the costs of the seeds, that’s just a bit much for my tastes. I know Baker Creek had them for sale for something like $5 for 10-15 seeds, but like you had mentioned in another thread, they sold out of them. It would be a novelty to grow them, fer sure.

Is the fruit black all the way thru, or just the skin? Are your plants still producing fruit? Ours were done a couple months ago.

You’re right, they are a bit unsettling. ha. I should have cut one open to show the inside. Actually, its sort of a blend of green and black and very dark purple. And you are right, all the vendors I’ve seen have promoted them especially for their high level of anthocyanin. As for the price of the seeds, its just plain dumb for anyone-including myself- to pay that much for seeds and certainly can’t be justified on any grounds other than for curiousity and fun.

Your question about how I’m still picking tomatoes is a very good one and I’m glad you mentioned it. As it turned out, in July- long after my typical tomatoe planting time- I just came across an obscure vendor who actually had these in stock. I thought it was an EXTREME long shot but I had wanted to try these all year and so I decided to just gamble $10-$12 and order and plant them. I think the seeds went into my little sprouting cups around July 20 and I transplated the plants around August 2. Honestly, that would never, ever work most years here, but as it turns out we have had the warmest and longest fall on record. Almost every day in October the weatherman said we were setting another temp record. MOST days were in HIGH 80’s in October!!! We usually get frost by early to mid Oct but this year we still haven’t even had any days or nights below 50 and few below 60! Its almost Nov. and still there is no sign of a frost in the 7 day forecast.

That is a (typical for me) long winded way of saying that you are right, it’s very late for tomatoes to still be producing- let along just starting to produce like these- but its only because this is a very, very unusual fall in terms of long, hot days all the way through November. The fun part of that is I planted a few other normal tomatoes along with these odd balls and they are also producing now. Its incredibly fun (and wonderful for culinary reasons) to have fresh homegrown tomatoes so late in the year. Everyone else has been-like you- out of tomatoes for MONTHS. From now on, I’m going to plant a few VERY late tomatoes each year just in case we have a late frost. Its not much trouble, costs almost nothing (for regular tomatoes), doesn’t require much maintenance, and the payoff of having tomatoes all the way through October is really high for me.

Tcm, if you saved seeds from these I would love to trade you for some?

@thepodpiper I would have been happy to give you some, but I didn’t save any because they are hybrids and most of what I’d read suggested that it was very unlikely that seeds would retain the characteristics from both parents needed to create the “black” color. In other words, I didn’t think the seeds would be true. The good news is I’ve seen them in more and more catalogs, so you should be able to find them. If not, let me know and I’ll get you some links.