Welcome to spudleafwillie's Member Page
I have been seriously growing tomatoes for about 53 years, and specialize in collecting and growing potato leaved cultivars from around the world. I am a scientifically trained educator with a dual degree in chemistry and biology from the Pennsylvania State University. I was employed for 22 years as a research chemist and biologist, followed by 10 years as a science teacher. I am now retired and live in rural southwest New Mexico
My now full-time gardening/research project involves potato-leaved tomatoes - specifically tomato varieties with leaves like a potato plant.
Potato-Leaved Tomatoes (I call them "spudleafs") are not a hot new item in the tomato world, having been known since the 1850's, and were featured in the 1890's when Livingston introduced the variety Magnus (still available today)
As of 10-15-05 I have located and identified over575 different varieties of "Spudleafs" and have seeds for over 350 of them. I am continuously adding more potato-leaved cultivars to the collection.
The 2000 Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook lists 16 Orange/Yellow "Spudleafs", 117 Pink/Purple "Spudleafs", 69 Red "Spudleafs" and 11 Other Color "Spudleafs" such as White, Bicolor, and Black for a total of 212 different ones. Exactly how many potato-leaved varieties are out there? Nobody really knows. The 575 "Spudleafs" which I know about, out of about 12000 total known varieties of tomatoes equal about 4.79% of the total tomatoes population, and the numbers are growing. Then there are the seed catalogs, private collections, national seed banks in at least 10 countries, natural mutations, and deliberate crossings by individuals. It boggles one's mind thinking of all the possibilities for new ones. They are going to call me "Crazy Willie" if it continues...
"Spudleafs" have origins in many different countries, fifteen that I remember: The United States, England, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico Iraq, Poland, Russia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Czechoslovakia, China, and Japan. I may have more in my computer database. The largest numbers are pinks, with beefsteak varieties in first place, originating in northern European countries (Germany, Poland, etc.,) then the American varieties, reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and whites.
"Spudleafs" come in a wide variety, from tiny cherry varieties weighing less than one ounce, to huge beefsteak types weighing more than two pounds. Plant types range from short determinate plants one foot tall to jack-in the-beanstalk monsters of 18 feet or more. Colors occur from red, yellow. orange, pink, purple, to almost black, with bicolor combinations possible. Some have hairy leaves, like the variety "Fuzzybomb".
The only fruit color I have not yet located in "Spudleafs" is a solid green, and I'm working on that, crossing Galinas (a potato-leaved yellow cherry variety) with Green Grape (a regular leaved green cherry variety). Both green color, yellow color, and potato-leaf are recessive genes so the cross should result in some 2nd generation offspring having genes carrying both desired traits.
I live in: US
My zone is: 6b sw NM
My favorite forum 1 is Growing Tomatoes.
First registered on October 25,2005.