Tomato 'Red Ponderosa'

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Oceanside, California

San Luis Obispo, California

Lilburn, Georgia

Harrison, Ohio

Cross, South Carolina

Troy, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 5, 2020, TheFluffyOne wrote:

Known as THE original heirloom beefsteak tomato this is an great tomato. Oh there are others I like better but this is a very good tasting workhorse, with that old fashioned tomato flavor (rather balanced). This tomato produces extremely well and for an indeterminate/semi-indeterminate it is rather short (4-6 feet). In the end, this tomato has many, many strengths. It is highly adaptable and grows most places, for a quality beefsteak it is fairly early, it has few seeds, and lastly it exhibits a level of disease resistance.

For those interested in dwarf tomatoes this deserves a look While not a small plant at 4-6 feet this comes in within the bounds of the taller varieties produced by the dwarf tomato project only with far better production, disease resistance, wider r... read more


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.)


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.


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.