Picture a classic tomato, the first thing that comes to your mind. It’s probably rounded, with glossy red skin and a smooth texture.
When you’re purchasing tomatoes from a grocery store, that’s likely what you’ll find. But, when you grow your own tomatoes, there is a whole new world of shape, texture, and particularly color that you can experiment with.
Although it may seem impossible, one of those available colors is black. While we have yet to find a truly black tomato – they’re mostly dark purple or brown – this group of varieties is bound to add a bit of drama to your backyard.
Perhaps you’re looking for an interesting pop of color in the veggie garden, or simply want a tomato plant that closely matches your overall aesthetic (does anyone else here almost exclusively wear black?). No matter the reason, you’ll find a black tomato variety to suit your needs on this list.
1. Black Krim
Undoubtedly the most well-known black tomato variety, Black Krim features deep red-purple fruits with dark green tops. This heirloom is from Crimea and produces large fruits on indeterminate vines around 80 days after planting. Their color is a great feature in salads, but they also make a wonderful tomato sauce.
2. Black Beauty
Although Black Krim was one of the first widely available ‘black’ tomatoes, Black Beauty takes the prize for darkest color. These tomatoes are such a dark blue or purple that they appear completely black in certain lighting. Once cut open, this color makes an interesting contrast with the bright red flesh. On top of this stunning color, they are also incredibly tasty.
3. Black Prince
Black Prince is another heirloom from far corners of the world designed for growth in colder climates. While tomatoes love warm temperatures, this dark variety is able to set fruit in relatively cold weather, making it great for cooler regions of the country. The skin is not as dark as others – closer to a dark maroon than black with green tops – but the pulp has a stunning dark hue that makes them great for sauces.
4. Dark Galaxy
One of the most fascinating looking tomatoes on the market, you would be forgiven for believing these fruits are not tomatoes at all. The skin is a captivatingly dark purple-black with patches of red and yellow spots that turn the fruits into a galaxy-like kaleidoscope (hence the name). Give the fruits plenty of sunlight to intensify this wonderful color.
5. Black Cherry
For fans of adorable, sweet cherry tomatoes looking for something a bit more dramatic for the garden, give Black Cherry a try. Producing fruits 75 days after planting, you’ll be treated to long rows of deep purple tomatoes that have similar coloring when cut open. They make the perfect garnish tomato but are equally as delicious as a snack on their own.
6. Amazon Chocolate
This beefsteak-type tomato plant produces large fruits with a purple-black tinge to their exterior. These fruits are sweet and juicy with a wonderful texture that suits a wide range of uses. This variety can be tougher to find than some others, so keep a look out online for seeds from specialized growers.
7. Black Icicle
Black Icicle is another rare heirloom tomato variety originating in Ukraine. The only black paste tomato on this list, it is sought after for its rich color and impressive flavor. Its elongated shape also adds some interest in the garden, especially considering how many fruits one plant can produce in a season.
8. Black Zebra
The name of this tomato variety tells you all you need to know about its coloring. This brownish-red tomato is streaked with green that appears almost painted onto the skin. The taste is sweet rather than too acidic, making these fruits ideal for eating fresh.
9. Cherokee Purple
Most tomato enthusiasts will already know about the famous Cherokee Purple, one of the first dark-colored tomatoes available for purchase. It is a widely popular heirloom with interesting flesh inside massive fruits. As long as they are given enough sun, you’ll get to enjoy their gorgeous colors all summer long.
You can’t go wrong planting one of the winners of the Best Tasting Tomato award, Carbon. The dark color of the fruits is matched by a complex and rich flavor – a solid addition to any tomato-based dish and to your garden. The plants produce prolifically throughout the season, ensuring your harvest is anything but meager.
11. Chocolate Stripes
Similar in color to Black Zebra, Chocolate Stripes is another green-striped option to add to your tomato collection. The fruits reach an impressive size, with a powerful flavor that is just as bold as their exterior. This plant continues producing into fall, matching the changing colors of the season.
12. Black Sea Man
Hailing from Russia, this heirloom tomato produces irregularly shaped large fruits with dark greenish-purple skin. As a determinate tomato, the plant is slightly smaller than some of the others on this list and features fruit that ripens all at once. Make sure you have a plan to use your bounty of tomatoes when harvest time comes.
13. Black Plum
The fruits of the Black Plum tomato plant have an interesting elongated shape. However, that’s not all that makes them unique. This indeterminate tomato, also from Russia, is a deep burgundy color with green tops that look stunning sliced or tossed into a salad. Thanks to their texture, they are also ideal for fresh sauces.
14. Dwarf Velvet Night
For a compact tomato plant perfectly suited for container growing, look no further than Dwarf Velvet Night. With adorable blackish-brown fruits that appear around 70 days after planting, you’ll find plenty of uses for these fruits that pack a flavor punch. They are slightly larger than a cherry tomato and incredibly productive.
15. Dark Tiger
Dark Tiger features the best of both worlds in terms of color. The fruits sport a mix of dark purple-black color and deep red, blended together in a striped pattern that lends this variety its name. The plants produce fruits in around 75 days with an earthy, sweet taste that complements many dishes well.
16. Indigo Rose
You can’t get much darker in color than the fruits of the captivating Indigo Rose. Developed at Oregan State University, Indigo Rose was the first truly purple tomato in the sense that it contains the antioxidant anthocyanin, the compound responsible for the color of purple and blue-black fruits and vegetables. And, thanks to the growth habit of this variety, the globe fruits almost look more like grapes than they do tomatoes.
17. Black From Tula
This heirloom is another rare variety quickly growing in popularity for both color and flavor. A dark brownish-green exterior looks almost smokey, matching the flavors of the flesh in the interior. The sizes of the fruits, as well as the overall yield of the plant, are described as impressive. Also from Russia, Black From Tula is largely disease-resistant and easy to grow.
18. Purple Calabash
The deep purple-brown color of the Purple Calabash fruit is heightened by a ruffled shape, producing a classic heirloom harvest full of color. The plants may take a little longer to mature than some others, with fruits appearing around 90 days after planting, but they are well worth the extra wait. Give them a full day of sun to heighten their dark purple color.