Green Zebra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Green Zebra
Green Zebra
Green Zebra
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Maturity78 days
TypeOpen pollinated
Plant height2.8m
Fruit weight170g
LeafRegular leaf
ColorBicolor: Green with yellow stripes
Green Zebra tomatoes

Green Zebra is a tomato cultivar with characteristic dark green and yellow stripes.[1] Newer variations blush reddish instead of yellow when ripe. It is more tart (described as 'spicy' and 'zingy')[2] than a regular tomato, and it is an early cultivar. Compared to other tomato varieties, it can produce somewhat mealy fruits depending on growing conditions.

Green Zebra was bred by Tom Wagner of Everett, Washington, and introduced in his Tater-Mater Seed Catalog in 1983.[3] He first came up with the idea in the 1950s. Usually, green tomatoes are considered unripe and discarded or fried. However, Wagner was intrigued by the idea of a green tomato that was ready to eat.

There is some controversy as to whether Green Zebra should be considered an heirloom tomato. Some people don't consider it an heirloom quite yet,[3] while others consider it either an heirloom, "modern heirloom" or "created heirloom."[4][5][6]


Common varieties include Green Zebra, Black Zebra, Big Zebra, and Red Zebra.

Planting information[edit]

The Green Zebra tomato does not often obtain a disease; however, if the tomato has a disease the Green Zebra will not turn yellow, the plant will stay green until it wilts. The Green Zebra has a higher defense rate against diseases compared to other tomatoes.[citation needed] To grow this tomato one must plant seed 1–2 weeks after the temperature remains constant around 15-35 degrees Celsius. The soil should be well drained and the seed must remain 3mm deep within the ground under full sunlight. Plant the seed 30cm to 90cm apart and let harvest for 65–80 days. This plant is semi-annual and it is best to harvest in midsummer. One should transplant when plant is 15cm high.

Determining ripeness[edit]

Because this tomato is green throughout its lifecycle, it can be difficult to tell when it is ripe. There are three main ripening stages. Different people have different preferences on which ripening stage is best to harvest during. The first stage is when the tomato reaches the normal firmness of a ripe tomato. Test this by gently grasping. Second, when the Zebra's light green stripes turn to yellow. Third, when the bottom of the yellow stripes begin to turn a blush color. For a sweeter tomato leave it on the vine for a longer period of time. However, leaving it on the vine for too long can cause it to become mealy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Neill, Molly (June 3, 1998). "What's Green And Has Stripes? A Zebra Tomato". New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  2. ^ "Green Zebra Tomato". Golden Harvest Organics. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Green Zebra Tomato". Tomato Dirt. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Borrell, Brendan. "How to Grow a Better Tomato: The Case against Heirloom Tomatoes". Scientific America. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ Ibsen, Gary. "What Is An Heirloom Tomato?". Tomatofest. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  6. ^ Torgrimson, John. "GENEWATCH THE LIVING LEGACY". Council for responsible genetics. Archived from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2013.