Thoburn’s Terra Cotta

Another stunning tomato with unusual coloring. Outside it is a terra cotta color – kind of coppery – in itself very special – but the inside is also very eye catching. You’ve got orange/pink flesh and green seed gel together which makes a big impact in cut slices. It has a very smooth texture and the flavor is rich and tomatoey with a little sweetness. Some people like to make a pumpkiny orange sauce with it. Fruit varied in size – from 4-10 oz and are almost a dull matte – not shiny. Plants were vigorous and seemed to handle heat well.


This unusual tomato has quite an interesting story. It was bred by a Mr. Carman who chose “Peach” as the female and worked with a number of the favorites at that time for the male.He chose the best of the offspring for the female the next year and again bred to some of the favorites of the day like Ponderosa, Stone and Ignotum.Eventually Terra Cotta was the result. It was said to have good keeping qualities. The tomato was featured on the cover of the J. M. Thorburn & Co, New York 1893 catalog - in color no less!Their original seed packets were 25 cents while many other varieties were only 5 and 10 cents. J.M. Thorburn went bankrupt in 1921 during the banking crisis and most of their seed stock was lost. According to the story below written by William Woys Weaver in Mother Earth News it was still held by an old farmer. It was later released through Baker Heirloom Seeds.

Mother Earth News link

Color: Bicolor
Shape: Beefsteak
Maturity: 75 days
Plant Type: Indeterminate
Leaf Type: Regular
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