Green Zebra Tomato

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Solanum lycopersicum  Seeds per pack ~25  Germination: 98% (Aug. 2021)

Bred by the legendary tomato breeder Tom Wagner, 'Green Zebra' is the perfect example of a "new heirloom." It hasn't even been around for 40 years, but it's already a beloved favorite of home gardeners and market farmers alike. Many people find this odd-looking green tomato to be among the very best-tasting tomatoes ever developed. Just to be clear: the green and yellow color represents this tomato at peak ripeness (it is green and pale green when underripe).

Don't try to use the fully ripe tomatoes for fried green tomatoes or you'll end up with a splattery mess on your hands! Tom Wagner wrote this about the breeding process, if anyone is interested: "'Green Zebra' has 4 heirloom-type tomatoes in the pedigree.

The first breeding line was between 'Evergreen' and a crack-resistant red. The hybrid was red to start with, but an improved green evolved by the F-5 filial generation. The other parent was a cross of a green-striped red tomato that was a mutant out of an old market variety of the 1940's, and another heirloom that Gleckler's seed company had in an old catalog of the 1950's. I had to reselect for the green stripe (red and yellow when ripe) until I had better crack resistance and flavor by the F-6 selection.

The hybrid of these lines created a hybrid F-1 that was red, and little or no stripes. Several generations of bulk harvesting of sister clones were evaluated repeatedly in the field followed by a generation in the greenhouse to get the tangiest green flesh with various levels of striping. The lines were in different groups of 5%, 10%, 60%, 80% striping intensities. I released the first seed in 1983 within my Tater-Mater Seed catalog, and the 60% striping level was called 'Green Zebra' at that time."