Posted on 18 April 2008 by

Smallest Tomato: The Currant Tomato and other Small Wonders

Currant TomatoBy Vanessa Richins

Many people aim to grow the world’s largest tomato.

Have some fun and go for the opposite route – harvest some tiny tomatoes the size of peas.

Currant tomatoes (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium) are closely related to our standard garden tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and are very similar to the wild tomatoes of Central America.

Other common names include wild tomato, Wild Florida Everglades Tomato and spoon tomato.

These little heirlooms are bursting with flavor. They produce hundreds of sugar packed fruits on indeterminate vines. Health benefits abound as they have forty times as much lycopene as common tomatoes. They are best grown with support as they tend to sprawl.

Try growing it next to a fence since it is low growing and can be difficult to train on stakes. The fruits will stay on the vines in clusters until all have ripened. If you are saving seeds from your other tomato plants, be sure to isolate your currant tomatoes as crossbreeding may happen. These are especially exciting for children’s gardens.

Follow my favorite practice for any tomato- eat them straight off the vine for breakfast. They are a wonderful addition to any salad.

Toss with couscous. Sun dry them to make your own tomato raisins. Mix with fresh mozzarella and a balsamic vinaigrette. Freeze them for a cooling summer treat. Use them as part of a garnish. The possibilities are endless!

Some common varieties (including some newer hybrids) include:

  • Hawaiian Currant
  • Jungle Salad
  • Spoon (Hybrid)
  • White Mexican Currant
  • Red and Yellow Blend Currant
  • Cerise Orange
  • Gold Rush
  • Golden Rave (Hybrid)
  • Matt’s Wild Cherry
  • Sugar Plum (Hybrid)
  • Sweet Pea

Join me in growing the littlest wonder this season – the currant tomato.

12 Responses to “Smallest Tomato: The Currant Tomato and other Small Wonders”

  1. Nancy Bond Says:

    Oh wow! I can only imagine how wonderful these would be in a salad or a host of other recipes…or best, straight off the vine!

  2. Vanessa Richins Says:

    They’re very fun! Im growing two kinds this year – a regular Red Currant, and Matt’s Wild Cherry. After the growing season I’ll have fun reporting about them.

  3. Joan Parker Says:

    I grew these a while ago and loved them however my seeds are old and I am having trouble finding Hawaiian current and other varieties. I would appreciate finding a source for seeds for this and other current tomatoes.

  4. zbgirl Says:


    You can get the Hawaiian currant seeds at

  5. David Says:

    They are the best actually. I don’t eat a lot of tomatoes, but these are excellent in caprese, soups, and with microgreens.

  6. Merle Penny Says:

    where can I get some seeds,please. My crop did not return any plants this year for some reason, and I’m going to miss them can you tell me please how to get some seeds??? Thanks Mel

  7. Merle Penny Says:

    please tell me where to get some seeds thanks my plants did not return this year I guess due to a bad winter?? I’m going to miss them after many years of having them regrow each year. Thanks

  8. Kim Says:

    These started growing wild in mine and my parents flower beds. We call the magic ‘matoes! We think birds or squirrels (or the wind) must have dropped seeds. We have TONS of them.

  9. Pipeliner Says:

    I got my seeds from Burpee for ‘Red Currant’ and I kept my expectations low because it was Burpee and they have a reputation of taking existing varieties and rebranding them. Boy was I surprised! My plants are 12 feet tall and loaded! This one actually has an acceptable flavor. It’s not as good Matt’s Wild Cherry, but it’s much more productive and the plants have more vigor. Matt’s was always one of my favorites but it’s one of the most succeptible to disease. It’s truly a labor of love to grow a variety that you know will die on you while it’s loaded with tasty fruit.

  10. Janis Says:

    I’m growing the Gold Rush currants for the first time. I planted them in late spring and the things are still going strong. I started 15 seeds and all of them sprouted and have decided to take over the whole front of my home. There seems to steadily be near hundreds of greens on their at any given time, and I’m able to grab a handful or two almost every day of the ripe ones. I had no idea they grew like that! I love just picking them right off the plant and eating them… so do my kids that claim to ‘hate’ tomatoes. I’m hoping to be able to save some seeds and expand the growing area for them next year.

  11. cheryl moore Says:

    I have ordered tiny tom tomatoes and red currant tomato seeds i have planted both in hanging baskets, in 4″ pots in green house. No luck on red currants germinating at all 🙁 the tiny toms are up 3/4 inch to 1 inch. No currants. They are super tiny seeds. I garden in mostly heirloom vegetables. Would love these currants to grow for me any suggestions. Soil checked , used different types soil etc. No luck. Help!!

  12. zbgirl Says:

    Cheryl, I bought mine from
    Last year, I bought Hawaiian currants. I started them inside, about April in CA. They came up like crazy and then fell over one by one. I moved the survivors outside and put the top half of a plastic water bottle over the top for night and took it off during the day. It turns out, they don’t like to grow inside, I guess.
    Possibly the seeds you got may have been old? or they could have been planted too deep. I barley covered mine with soil and then used plastic over the top.I germinated the seeds with a bottom heat source (on top of my computer base). They germinated in about 5 days.
    In which part of the country do you live? It may just be too early for currants. has always had quality seeds.

    Hope that helped.
    ZB Girl

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