Tomatoes are nightshade vegetables. Nightshades are a family of flowering plants that range from annual to perennial herbs. Other members of the family include bell peppers, eggplant, and white potatoes. Cultivation often depends on use and destination, weather sold fresh or into processing.
Tomatoes originated in the South American Andes around the area of what is known today as Peru. It was among the first kinds of foods used by the ancient civilization, the Aztecs in Southern Mexico. Since then tomato varieties have split into two main groups, determinative and indeterminate, with 3,000 different cultivated heirloom tomatoes and over 15,000 others.
Determinates: also known a ‘bush types’, bare full crops at once and finish growing at a fixed mature size. They usually finish their fruiting process within two weeks and start to diminish soon after and will produce little to no more fruit.
Indeterminates: also referred to as ‘vining tomatoes’, unlike determinates tomatoes, these continue to produce fruit and grow throughout the season, until killed off by frost. They provide a slow steady supply of tomatoes. These are mostly preferred by both commercial and domestic growers.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Solanales
- Family: Solanaceae
- Genus: Solanum
- Species: S. Iycopersicum
- Binomial name: Solanum iycopersicum