Lycopersicon-esculentum « Tag

Posted on 02 May 2008 by

“Wolf Peaches” and Other Strange Tomato Superstitions

Wolf PeachesBy Vanessa Richins

As with all good things in life, there are many superstitions connected to our beloved tomato.

Have you ever wondered why tomatoes were given the scientific name of Lycopersicon esculentum?

It stems from old German folklore. It was believed that members of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, were used by witches to produce werewolves.

This practice is known as lycanthropy. Indeed, the common German word for tomato translates to “wolf peach”. Linnaeus, the man who created the current scientific naming system of binomial nomenclature, recalled this legend and gave the tomato the name Lycopersicon esculentum.

This name translates to Read the rest of this entry »


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