Q: In the paper, there was an ad for “Tree Tomatoes”. It claimed you can get 60lbs. of tomatoes from one single plant! Have you ever heard of these? Could you please shed some light on this before I order them?
A: “That old plant resurfaces almost every year,” said Dr. Wayne McLaurin, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “It isn’t a tomato at all. The fruit is more tart and jelly like and it has more seeds. It’s botanically known as Cyphomandra betacea, a very different species from garden tomatoes.
“Actually, the “tree tomato” is a tropical, semi-woody shrub. It grows as much as 10 feet high and starts bearing fruit in the second or third year. However, the least amount of frost will kill the plant.”