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Tomato

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Tomato
Tomato1.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Solanum lycopersicum

Tomato2.jpg

The tomato plant is one of the non-poisonous and edible plants of the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Its scientific name Solanum lycocarpum means wolf fruit and it comes from the fact that wild dogs in South America feed upon tomato plants.[1] Tomatoes are amazing plants and is one of the many examples that God takes care of us by providing for us. That is demonstrated in the verse Matthew 10:27-31 where Jesus speaks of caring for us far greater than sparrows, yet He knows when each sparrow dies.

What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:27-31

Anatomy

The flower of a tomato plant

There are five main parts to a tomato plant, the flowers, fruit, roots, stems, and leaves. The flowers of a tomato plant are less than an inch and are yellow colored. These flowers are usually in basic or complex clusters. There are several different types of clusters, or inflorescences. There are three patterns in which a tomato plant gets organized, single flower, simple chyme, and dichotymously branched chyme. The single flower arrangement has a single flower, as stated in its name. The simple chyme has several branches with flowers on them. The dichotymously branched chyme has about 3 times more branches and flowers than the simple chyme. The number and arrangement are all dependent on the temperature of the specific plant's environment. The flower itself has five parts, the sepal, petal, stamen, carpels, and pedicel. The sepal is the outermost part of the flower. The petals of the tomato plant are bright yellow colored and serve to attract animals to pollinate it. The stamen is the male part of the flower and serves to pollinate the carpels. It is the yellow cylinder that sits right in the middle of the petals. The carpels of the tomato plant are green and are located inside the stamen. It acts as the female reproductive organ in the reproduction of the tomato plant.The pedicel is the stem of the flower and supports it. The fruit of the tomato plant are either bilocular or multilocular. Bilocular tomatoes have their fruits arranged in two separate groups of seeds, as indicated by its name. Multilocular tomatoes have their seed grouped in groups of more than two. The seeds of the tomato plant are surrounded by gelatinous membranes. The fruit of the tomato plant turns red when ripened.[2] The roots of the tomato plant can be either a taproot or fibrous roots. This all depends on how the tomato plant was grown. If it was grown from a seed it will be a taproot. If it was grown from cuttings it will have fibrous roots.[3]The stem of the tomato plant has two sections, The woody stem and the Shoot Apical Meristem. [4]

Reproduction

Tomato plants reproduce by means of pollination by animals. This way of reproduction means that the plant would have fruits and flowers and would be called an angiosperm. The reproduction of the tomato plant involves the stamen and the carpels. The stamen produces pollen that can fertilize the carpels. The carpel gets fertilized once a pollen grain enters its pollen tube. Sometimes cross pollinations occur. These cross pollinations usually happen with the help of an insect or animal bringing the pollen to another tomato plant. After the ovule is fertilized, it develops into an embryo which develops into a seed. The seed is then wrapped with flesh and becomes a fruit. The fruit can then be spread by being eaten and digested by an animal. [5]

Ecology

Description

The Tomato was originally native from Central, South, and southern North America from Mexico to Argentina. Tomatoes can grow in a variety of locations which makes it a good plant to cultivate. Today, Tomatoes are grown all over the world. China is the country with most tomato production following with the United States, Turkey, India, then Egypt. Tomatoe plants are perennials, which means they live for about two years. If grown outside it would be an annual, which means it would live for only a year.[6]

Fruit vs. Vegetable

It can be argued if wether or not the ovary produced by the tomato plant is a fruit or not. Technically the red ovary produced by the tomato plant is the fruit of it. So it can be argued that the fruit of the tomato plant is actually a fruit. But a Supreme Court hearing ruled that the fruit of the tomato plant is actually a vegetable considering its use and to settle the matter of United States tariff laws placed on fruits and vegetables. So in botanical terms, a tomato is a fruit, but in culinary terms, a tomato is considered a vegetable because of its use.[7]

Gallery

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References

  • TOMATO Thomas L. Rost. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS.
  • Tomato Multiple Authors. Wikipedia.
  • Tomato History Peggy Trowbridge Filippone. About.com.