Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Black Pearl'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycopersicon (ly-koh-PER-see-kon) (Info)
Species: lycopersicum (ly-koh-PER-see-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Pearl

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One member has or wants this plant for trade.

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Growing Habit:

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Small (grape/cherry varieties)

Days to Maturity:
Early (55-68 days)

Fruit Colors:

Seed Type:
American hybrid

Fresh, salad

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Leaf Type:
Regular Leaf

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive OKGrower On Dec 2, 2009, OKGrower from Boise City, OK wrote:

I grew these in 2007 and 8. They start well enough, average 14/15 sprout, and about 1/3 will be trying to fruit in 10 weeks. I found they need a full 54" heavy duty cage and a steel fencepost for support, plant on 5' radius spacing. Add 4 Nema-Gone or Golden Guardian marigolds per plant. You will see a difference.

I plant out tomatoes last two weeks of May here; at 10-12 weeks PLUS 2 weeks hardening; uppotting at least twice to take off legging and planting out is with gallon size. These are very prone to if they touch anything else including another seedling during early starting they will leg HORRIBLY. The cage and post will look silly with that transplant. It will not look silly by July.

These will start putting out late June/early July; knee high to the top of the cage. They will continue to grow, my average is 12' (over top, down the sides, and tucked back up) high. They do NOT do 'grape flavor' even refrigerated. They have a nce appeareance, good flavor, sun and wind kissed ones will split though. Once they go over the top you will be hunting for them like easter eggs in a hedge, and keep them off the ground, the bugs LOVE them and they rot fast.

Late July I will pick 4 quarts a day per plant. August you can't keep up with them. I have gotten skin rash/irritation from the plant greens, so I sewed a shirtsleeve to a cheap cotton glove and put elastic at the shoulder to gather them with.

They will also megabloom, the fused blooms will give you bigger lumpy twins/multiples.

Especially here, they need water, and windbreak from prevaling wind. I do not use a mulch, but keep the ground clean to keep certain bugs from sheltering. Four of these in the beefsteak row (this is 10' between plants and single row 10' wide) and an extra 3' between each two to allow getting all the way around to pick is necessary, is more than I can eat, use, and give away. I do pinch, but I tend to let my plants grow... these like to bloom better closer to the ends; so letting them get long/tall/flop over some ensures great harvest.

They go right to frost (mid/late Oct) here. They love sun, they will wilt, lots of heavy watering early morning worked best here. Think big with this small tomato, it works better treating it like it's a beefsteak type that does 2# tomatoes. It's a repeat here again for next season.

Neutral rah127 On Jan 24, 2009, rah127 from Dalton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I think I like sweeter cherry tomatoes than this one--had a very strong flavor to me, not unpleasant, but not my favorite--other people I gave them to liked them though

Positive jenhillphoto On Jun 16, 2006, jenhillphoto from Danbury, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

Still very early in the season for us here. So I may change my rating by the end of the summer. Currently, I'm neutral. I started 4 black pearl plants from seed along with nine other varieties of tomatoes. This was the slowest germinator of all the tomatoes. All of the black pearl seedlings were much smaller than the other tomato variety seedlings the entire time they grew inside under the lights and also during the hardening off period outside. I was worried that they'd be slow growing or just not very good plants in general. Even with the unusal, extremely wet and cold spring we've had, they have hung in there. Today, the black pearls have many flowers on the plants. They are growing almost as fast as the others, although still quite a bit smaller than the others. But they seem healthy. So plant size doesn't matter to me, so long as I get some tomatoes to eat. So far, there is one small BB sized tomato growing. The weather has just this week starting being good. I will post pictures of ripe tomatoes later in the season.

It is now September. The black pearl plants did very well and continue to put out fruit. When ripe, they tend to get a little bit soft and some can split, but not the worst splitter in my garden this year. There are still plenty of good ones even with the splitting. They have been good producers of good tasting cherry tomatoes. I do not agree with the Burpee package which says that they taste like a concord grape when refrigerated. They do taste good when cold however. I never put tomatoes in the refrigerator and wouldn't have if it hadn't said that on the package. Tried them that way a few times, but we still eat our tomatoes room temperature.

Positive DrDoolotz On Apr 30, 2006, DrDoolotz from Oxford, NS (Zone 5b) wrote:

A unique, almost black colored cherry tomato that boasts two different flavors. Enjoy right off the vine, but unlike any other tomato, chilling in the refrigerator brings out a second, unique, extra sweet flavor. I can't comment on this because this is the first time I am growing them. Will comment later in summer! And post pics! Depending on the taste and growth, I may change my rating.

Forgot to update in 2006. Grew again in 2007! Remembered to update! I like these tomatoes - they have a good taste. I agree that the cold/fridge thing doesn't make them taste like a grape. It might make them a little bit sweeter though. I did a side-by-side comparison of cold and warm and they do taste a bit different. Good yields. Not "almost black" like the Burpee packet says, but more of a brownish-red with green shoulders.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Danbury, Connecticut
Urbandale, Iowa
Carmel, New York

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