Tomato 'Opalka'

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

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: Opalka
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6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Ferment seeds before storing

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Growing Habit:


Fruit Shape:



Fruit Size:

Medium (under one pound)

Large (over one pound)

Days to Maturity:

Mid (69-80 days)

Fruit Colors:


Seed Type:



Fresh, salad

Fresh, slicing



Disease Resistance:

Unknown - Tell us

Leaf Type:

Regular Leaf

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Queen Creek, Arizona

Lakewood, California

Mountain View, California

Danbury, Connecticut

Stratford, Connecticut

Wolcott, Connecticut

Bokeelia, Florida

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Geneseo, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Jeanerette, Louisiana

Silver Spring, Maryland

Agawam, Massachusetts

Arlington, Massachusetts

Danvers, Massachusetts

East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ionia, Michigan

New Milford, New Jersey

Amsterdam, New York

Lebanon, Ohio

Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

Friedens, Pennsylvania

Knoxville, Tennessee

Fort Worth, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 1, 2015, darmyman from Rice Lake, WI wrote:

First two tomato's of the year for this one and they are great. I'm growing in straw bales. Large, sprawling plant that I've clipped to support wires and also had to tie up due to great growth. Have 9 other tomatoes on the plant right now. Will be growing again next year.


On Jul 14, 2014, kittriana from Magnolia, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Havent grown it -yet. Had the pleasure of eating one tho. Excellant grilled, excellant simply sauteed in margarine and eaten- including the skins -with a thick meaty flavor. The green shoulders arent a problem with ripeness tho.


On May 30, 2014, rosepetal2 from Danvers, MA wrote:

Planted two Opalka plants along with other heirloom tomatoes. I single stem so the Opalka seems like a weak plant with a puny stem and wimpy leaves. I'll place my confidence in the comments posted here that state the Opalka plant has a puny stem and the leaves/branches seem droopy - and look forward to the great taste. Have others single stemmed this tomato?.


On Aug 4, 2013, CaliforniaGuy from Lakewood, CA wrote:

These taste good, and the plant is somewhat productive in August finally, but about half of the fruit have blossom end rot. Will try again next year in a different location in the yard.

Update: Second year is a pretty different experience from last time. I have one plant going and it has a ton of tomatoes on it (maybe the most I've seen on one plant), and the bush itself was pretty vibrant initially.... however the plant is now struggling with some kind of fungal problem while the rest of the plants in the yard seem to be doing ok. The tomatoes are ripening just fine though. So - Lots of good tomatoes this year, but the plant itself doesn't seem very hardy. We will see if it lasts...I might change this from a neutral experience to a positive. No blossom end rot this t... read more


On Mar 26, 2013, sher_garden from Coraopolis, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Excellent tomato for sauce or fresh sliced-so sweet! Have grown it now for the third year and strongly recommend it. It does have shoulder cracks later in the season, for this reason I start them early to have most production out of the way before September as I can them in July and August in southwestern PA.


On Jan 27, 2013, lilrandy from Jeanerette, LA wrote:

Last season was my first trial with Opalka. I was very impressed with this variety. Even though the plant stem was thin and appeared wimpy, it grew to about 10' and the production was outstanding. It's a very meaty tomato that makes a great spaghetti sauce, or salad slicer. I did have one fruit set and have BER, but for whatever reason, it was the lone wolf. The rest were just fine.


On Aug 1, 2012, 6aseeder from Arlington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

quite susceptible to BER. jury is still out.


On Apr 26, 2012, qterhrs from Friedens, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is my family's favorite tomato. Friends who see them in my garden ask what they are because they are shaped like a sweet pepper. Big thick tomatoes with few seeds that make great sauce and we love them on sandwiches. My husband hates seeds so this great tasting tomato is perfect for him.


On Jun 3, 2010, SigourneyBeaver from Pine Island, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a funny tomato. It really does look more like a pepper than a tomato, but the flavor is outstanding.
No other tomato in my garden gets BER as often as this one, but even then the yield is pretty good. The trick of adding 1 cup hydrated lime to 1 gallon of water, and pouring this into the soil (or water reservoir on an earthbox) really helps.
Almost all of my Opalkas were fairly hollow inside. Just a funny, but very delicious tomato. I'll keep growing them. A vigorous plant with sort of frail looking foliage. Much tougher than it looks.


On Aug 24, 2009, cloverlymd from Silver Spring, MD wrote:

As others note, the fruits are huge and the plants are very productive. In my experience, however, it is more susceptible to blossom end rot than other varieties I'm growing; it also has a lot of green/yellow-shouldered fruit.


On Aug 9, 2007, jjpm74 from Stratford, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

Good yields of monsterously large fruit. My largest was almost 8 inches in length. More susceptable to BER than other paste varieties I've grown, but flavor more than makes up for it.


On Mar 3, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Yet another tomato with a DG connection: This one was given to Carolyn Male by a Polish co-worker. It was brought to Amsterdam, New York around 1900.


On Sep 24, 2006, EAPierce from Idaho Falls, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

I really loved this tomato despite a few hitches along the way. I planted two and got about 30 fruits, and while they ripened nicely, the largest prize I got was about 5"l x 2"w, most of them about an inch smaller. There was also some black spot on the fruits, though it wasn't enough to ruin them. They were good performers, earlier than most of the other tomatoes.

Knowing that they were primarily used for cooking, I saved some for this and made some terrific spaghetti sauce that got rave reviews, but they're very tasty fresh, too. I'm going to be growing it again in the near future and pitting it against some other heirloom plum varieties.


On Sep 20, 2003, pameladallaire from Timmins, ON (Zone 2a) wrote:

I had a good harvest here in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. An unusual fruit, large and productive. Will grow again in 2004.


On May 28, 2003, madregato from Visalia, CA wrote:

It is early in the season so no fruit yet. Just wanted to say how well this seed germinated. 100% germination very quickly. Planted opalka, diva cucumber, corono di toro pepper, anise hyssop and teddy bear sunflowers at the same time. All in recycled six packs all with same water/light exposure. The opalka seeds germinated at least a week before anything else. I'll report on the fruiting later. The weather is very eratic here this year so it will be a good test of the hardiness of this tomato.


On Feb 9, 2003, rosemary5 wrote:

I love this tomato - I just wish it produced a few more seeds. I was only able to save a few and then we moved and I lost them somewhere.


On Feb 6, 2003, owlwrite from Albany, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:

I would add to lupinelover's perfect description only that this is a hugely productive plant, and in our experience will bloom twice. With enough water and food, we get two complete harvests in a 110 day season: about 1 1/2 bushels per plant.


On Aug 31, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This tomato does not look like a tomato, it looks like a wax pepper. Outstanding for canning, very large paste tomato also good for slicing. Very productive vines that grow very large. Best picked before fully ripe and allowed to finish ripening off the vine.