Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Red Ponderosa'

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: Red Ponderosa
Additional cultivar information: (aka Henderson's Crimson Cushion, Scarlet Ponderosa)

» View all varieties of Tomatoes

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Seed Collecting:
Ferment seeds before storing

Growing Habit:

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Large (over one pound)

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

Fruit Colors:

Seed Type:
Commercial heirloom

Fresh, slicing

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Leaf Type:
Potato Leaf


2 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative goulot On Aug 12, 2013, goulot from Canton, MI wrote:

Lowe's was giving away Ponderosa Red packets of seeds to every customer. I grew some, and planted them to replace the Cherokee Purple that were killed by a late frost (the night after Mother's Day). The tomatoes are picture-perfect, a pleasure to look at. The taste? There is none. The texture? Mealy. You can still eat them if you add salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. But who would want to eat these when my Sungold are loaded with delicious little cherry tomatoes?

So, I freeze these. In winter, in soup or sauce, they will taste as good as, or better than, supermarket tomatoes.

(Note: In southeast Michigan, we had lots of rain this summer. That may have been a factor.)

Positive SLO_Garden On Aug 5, 2009, SLO_Garden from San Luis Obispo, CA wrote:

Red Ponderosa is a good, basic large red tomato. It has a nice flavor which is neither overly sweet or acidic. The plant gets fairly tall, and I didn't have any problems with foliage diseases. It started producing on the late side, but is producing a good crop.

Positive Farmerdill On Dec 16, 2003, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This was the third member of the Ponderosa family introduced in the 1890's. While we prefered the Purple and Golden strains, most folks grew this one. At the time its name was synonymous with "Beefsteak". It is a good producer and smoother than the "Purple" but still a rough tomato. The vine is small enough to use the sprawl method of growing, Earlier than most beefsteak types and prolific.


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

Oceanside, California
San Luis Obispo, California
Lilburn, Georgia
Harrison, Ohio
Troy, Virginia

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