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Solanum lycopersicum L.

Family Name: Solanaceae
Synonyms: Solanum esculentum
Common Name: Tomato, 蕃茄, தக்காளி
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Mexico and South America.
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Highland / Montane

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an herb that can either be erect or trailing, growing up to 2m in height. The plant is usually pubescent with glandular hairs which cause the plant to feel sticky upon touch. Although often grown as an annual, it is actually a perennial plant in frost-free climates that can survive for several years.
Foliage Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound measuring between 0.8–1.2 × 0.6–0.7 cm. Each leaf has 2-8 pairs of leaflets, ovate to oblong in shape. They are deeply lobed with an irregular toothed margin. The petiole measures between 1.2-7cm long. Its leaves are also very aromatic.
Flowers Flowers are borne in inflorescence on the axillary buds, hanging downwards. Flowers are yellow, bisexual, and self-fertile measuring between 0.4-1cm in length. The anthers bend into a cone-like structure, surrounding the stigma. 
Fruits Fruits are berries, shiny and smooth ranging between 1- 2cm in diameter. Once it ripens, the fruit turns from green to red. Fruit contains numerous kidney-shaped seeds covered in pulp. Seeds are yellow-grey, covered in long soft hairs measuring between 0.2 - 0.3mm in length.
Cultivation It is best grown under full sun in well-drained, fertile, and moist soil. Plants should be staked to avoid the stems from drooping down due to their heavy fruits. Seeds may take 3- 5 days to germinate. The period from sowing to the first harvest of its fruits is about 77-105 days.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : Tomato is botanically a berry, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes.The fruit is consumed in many ways, including raw in salads, processed into ketchup, and tomato juice is sold as a drinks.)
Medicinal ( Tomatoes have been used traditionally to treat several ailments. The fruit has very good nutritive value as it is fairly rich in vitamin C, and other minerals. Tomato consumption can help to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Fresh juice are used to stop excessive bleeding from wounds. In Italy, it is used to cure scorpion and other insect bites. In Philippines, the fresh fruit is used to treat edema by pregnant woman.)

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee)), Abiotic (Self-Pollinated)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, [Remarks] (The soil should be kept moist, not waterlogged. )
Propagation Method Seed
Seed or Spore Germination Duration To 6
Seed or Spore Germination Duration Unit Days
Propagation Method Remarks To avoid a decline in seed viability, remove the seeds from the ripe fruit as soon possible before allowing the seeds to dry in room temperature. 


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed, Dentate, Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid, Irregularly Incised
Foliar Apex - Tip Obtuse
Foliar Base Cuneate, Oblique / Asymmetrical

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Solitary, Cluster / Inflorescence
Inflorescence Type Raceme, Cyme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Several (11-20)

Image Repository



Master ID 31375
Species ID 5772
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 22 October 2020.