“I bought the above from you and it is growing well. What is the orgin of this plant? How is is related to the German Pink that Seed Savers offers? Is it the same as “German Johnson”? Thanks. Bob”
German Johnson [Lycopersicon esculentum var esculentum] (also known as German Johnson Pink) is an heirloom that came with immigrants to Virginia and North Carolina. It is one of the four ‘grandparents’ of the Mortgage Lifter tomato. It is indeterminate with large fruits that are ‘rough’ (not nice and smooth like a Celebrity, but kind of ridged) and way ¾ to 1.5 pounds. They have pink skin with yellow shoulders, mild taste, low acidity, and are a very meaty fruit with few seeds. They have heavy yields. They are good sliced or for canning. They have fair disease resistance and a regular tomato leaf. 76-80 days.
German Pink [Lycopersicon esculentum var solanum] is a German tomato that came with immigrants and has been found more in the Dakotas and surrounding Midwest. It is indeterminate with potato-like leaves. The fruits are 10-16 ounces, deep pink with a sweet flavor, and meaty flesh with few seeds.
While these two are very similar, it is the leaf structure that distinguishes them. The German Pink’s potato leaf is more closely related to the tomato’s close cousin, the potato (Solanum tuberosum).
I’m glad that you asked this question, because it brings up such an interesting area of history. So many different ethnic-specific vegetables are tied into the history of where they were cultivated after being introduced from the New World. A great example of this are German tomato varieties. Before the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the area we now know as German was split up into numerous ‘duchies’. From tracing the ‘genealogy’ of tomatoes, they can go back and see that a particular variety was domesticated and grown in one area. While it may be slightly different in one duchy than another, it is really the same tomato. A great example of this is the German Red Strawberry Tomato. There are three duchies where this one was grown – Baden, Bavaria, Saxon – but each is a little different. Same plant, but one area’s people saved seed from plants with larger fruits while another saved from plants with redder fruits. A few hundred years go by and you have three varieties that are the same, but look quite different. From what I have read recently, it is possible that German Pink shares an ancestor with Brandywine – a case where the common ancestor was crossed with a different tomato in each region and grown.
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