Choosing Heirlooms

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

A several years back, I bought an heirloom tomato plant from a nursery that was labled "Black Russian". Just LOVED it! It had a high yield, and large tomatoes. I was just looking to buy some seeds, and found that perhaps they had mislabeled the plant? The only "Black Russians" I can find on the internet have 4 oz fruit. Mine were 12 to 16 oz. I did some research and the closest that I can find to what I had, is the Black Tula. Wondering........!

Also, I saved some seed from my Anna Russians from last year - LOVED them - hoping they germinate! Hope to find some more Abe Lincolns, as well - those were very nice as well!

BTW - the Black Russians can really freak people out, lol, that are used to only store bought tomatoes..... they don't get the "color". I have to really try to get them to try "just a bite"...... then they are hooked.

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)


If you go to the site, Tatiana's Tomato Base, she describes the Black Russian and lists vendors who carry seeds in 2013. It does not sound like a large tomato but you may recognize it from the photos posted.

She also lists a Russian Black which is supposedly similar so you can compare the two:

I have not planted my Black Russian seeds which I got in an exchange so have no idea if they will be true to the Black Russian described at this site!

Hope this helps.

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

neither of those are what I was looking for. I think it's the Tula, and mis-labeled by the nursery, as I suspected.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Have you looked up Black Krim? That's another popular Black Tomato that fits you description.

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

That could be too!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, either way I highly suggest you grow Black Krim. They are fantastic.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

There was also until last year a group that only sold Heirloom Russian tomatoes, their web site is down and not obtainable , only a possibility...
Lots of good things disappearing lately from the web...

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

The best place to search for Russian varieties, not all heirlooms b'c they're cranking out new ones all the time in the CIS, is at Tania's site. She and her husband and two sons immigrated from Russia maybe 10 years ago, she still has relatives in Russia and participates on message sites in RUssia.

This past year I was sent a variety called Pink Flamingo and it was supposed to be a pink heart, Short story, but there were 3 vendors in Russia selling it, the pix on the seed packs were the same and the seeds in each were all different. Tania helped out wonderfully in locating those 3 vendors and when Shoe, who was doing the seed production for me sent up a picture we were able to ID it with one of the 3 vendors. Same with the variety Pood.

There are way over 200 so called black varieties known so it isn't easy to ID them unless the seeds/plants you buy have the right name attached.

So for Russian varieties, Tania is the place to go and look and as you know she also sells seeds for about 400 varieties and has separate pages for lotsof them.

I thought the fad for blacks was over, but I guess not. My friend Craig and I predicted that the next fad to come would be the green when ripes and that has certainly occurred, With a few exceotions I LOVE the GWripes,

Hope that helps.And I know many of you have Tania's website address, I've postged it here for several years, which you can also get by Googling, just enter Tatiana's T-base at Google.


Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

This a large dark purple , just wondering

TOMATO, SIBERIAN - Gregori's Altai*

Keeping in mind the more sun they get the darker they often are.

Want to see something yummy

This message was edited Jan 15, 2013 9:57 PM

This message was edited Jan 15, 2013 10:01 PM

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Gregi's Altai is not a dark colored variety as the above post implies. (smile)

And I've grown it. along with all the other ones that Bill McDorman brought back from Siberia. I see my good friend Craig, with whom I split seeds with thought this one was the best of the lot, but that wasn't my conclusion.

I wish I coud suggest Landreth seeds as a seed source, but I can't. Sure the pictures are pretty but they don't sell seeds for all those varieties.

If you feally want to loo k at LOTS of tomato pictures, go to:

and click on the Photo Gallery at the top of the page. You can also click on his yearly growouts and you'll see my name quite a bit since Reinhard and I have been good friends for almost 20 years now and exchange seeds each year.


Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

WOW! Thanks, Carolyn- I will be browsing here for days!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Yes second that ^_^

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Thank you ALL for your suggestions! I've been procrastinating and need to get my orders in!

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