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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

21 August 2016 | Growing Tomato Plant | Lycopersicon esculentum |

photo photo The seeds were sowed on 19 June. Of around 10 seeds placed in the soil, only 3 of them germinated. Two of matured plants started to bear flowers on 8 August, about 2 months after sowing the seeds. The pack of about 80 seeds were obtained from the horticulture section of a supermarket. The breed according to the label is known as Yellow Pear Tomato. As the name implied, the tomato should be yellow in colour and pear shape. As of today, no fruit had appeared yet.

A few things that I learned about the tomato plant while researching on it to write this short note. (1) The fruit is a berry botanically but it is not sweet enough to be on the dessert list and ended up being labelled as a vegetable in the kitchen; (2) The plant is supposed to be a vine though mine did not look like one; (3) The whole plant is hairy and the hairs can turn into roots when they come into contact with soil.

On the nutrition side, the fruit consists of 95% water, 4% carbohydrates and less than 1% fat and protein. A 100-gram fruit provides 18 calories which is relatively low when compared to an apple that has 52 calories per 100-gram. On top of that, it is a good source of source of antioxidants, dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins.

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Tomato plant (Lycopersicon esculentum) belongs to the nightshade family (Solanaceae). It is a native to South America. In Singapore, this family has 3 naturally occurring or naturalised members, namely Bladder Cherry (Physalis minima), Black Nightshade (Solanum nodiflorum) and Thai Pea Eggplant (Solanum torvum).

Hopefully, the flowers on my tomato plants will turn into the promised Yellow Pear Tomato soon.

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