Most of us are acquainted with tomato leaves, which are multi-lobed, serrated, or practically tooth-like in appearance. What if your tomato plant is missing these lobes? Is something wrong with the plant, or what?
Tomato Leaf Types
If you’re a genuine gardener, you’re probably already aware that tomato plants have two, well, three leaf kinds. As aforementioned, we have what is referred to as a regular leaf tomato, those with serrated or ruffled leaves.
There are hundreds of types of normal leaf tomato, including:
- Eva Purple Ball
- Big Boy
- Red Brandywine
- German Red Strawberry
The list is endless. There are several varieties of standard leaf tomato, ranging from color changes of green or green/blue tints to leaf breadth and length. Extremely thin leaves are referred to be dissected because they seem to have been sliced with a sawtooth. Some have heart-shaped leaves, while others have drooping dissected foliage known as wispy droopy leaves.
Potato leaf tomato variations may be found with typical basic tomato leaf kinds. Less common are those referred to as Rugose, which is a variation of regular and potato leaf tomatoes and has a darker green puckered leaf structure, as well as Angora, which has a hairy regular leaf. What exactly is a potato leaf tomato?
What is a Potato Leaf Tomato?
The lobes and notches seen on conventional leaf tomatoes are absent in potato leaf tomato variations. They resemble, well, potato leaves. Young potato leaf tomato plants (seedlings) are less noticeable because they lack serration until they are a few inches (8 cm.) tall.
Potato leaves on tomatoes are also heavier than standard leaf tomatoes, which some think makes them more disease resistant. Leaf color is usually a deep green with leaves on an individual plant varying from having totally smooth edges to some minimal lobing.
Examples of potato leaf tomato varieties include:
- Prudens Purple
- Brandy Boy
- Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom
Of course, there are many, many more. The majority of potato leaf tomato types are heritage cultivars.
There really is no difference in resulting taste between regular leaf tomatoes and potato leaf varieties. So, what makes the leaves unique? Tomatoes and potatoes are connected by the poisonous Nightshade variant. As they are cousins, more or less, they share some of the same traits, including similar foliage.
Leaf color and size vary depending on tomato species and are impacted by temperature, nutrients, and growing practices. At the end of the day, potato leaf tomatoes can be chalked up to just one of nature’s curious quirks, a good one that allows for further varieties of tomato to be grown even if just for fun.