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tomato,plant (Lycopersicon esculentum) of the family Solanaceae (nightshadenightshade,
common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species.
..... Click the link for more information. family), related to the potato and eggplant. Although cultivated in Mexico and Peru for centuries before the European conquest, the tomato is one of the newest plants to be used on a large scale for human food. When the Spanish explorers brought back seed from South America, the plant was grown merely for ornament; it was known as the love apple. Though the fruit was described as a salad ingredient before 1600, it was commonly regarded as poisonous, and only within the last century has it become recognized as a valuable food. Indeed, all parts of the plant but the fruit are toxic. It was reintroduced to the United States as a food plant c.1800 and now ranks third among our vegetable crops. It is very popular as a salad vegetable, yet three quarters of the crop is processed into juice, canned tomatoes, soups, catsup, and tomato pastes. It is the most widely used canned vegetable. Numerous varieties (ranging from the small cherry tomato to the large beefsteak) are cultivated in practically all parts of the United States except the warmest regions. One of the worst tomato pests is the cutwormcutworm,
name for the larvae of many moths of the family Noctuidae (owlet moths). These larvae, or caterpillars, feed at night on the stems and roots of young plants, often cutting them off near the surface of the ground. They hide in soil by day.
..... Click the link for more information. . Tomato-seed oil (from waste seed of canning processes) is sometimes extracted, chiefly in Italy. An antibiotic, tomatine, is also extracted from the seed. Technically the tomato is a fruit, although it is commonly considered a vegetable because of its uses. The tomato is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales, family Solanaceae.
Be aware they are in the nightshade family. Do not eat tomato flowers or leaves. High in potassium, major source of LYCOPENE (very good for prostate), fiber, A, C, good liver and blood tonic (purifying effect). Raw they are good for us, but if they are heated, cooked or stewed (like spaghetti sauce or ketchup), they become very corrosive to the body and can even lead to colon /bowel ulcers.
A plant of the genus Lycopersicon, especially L. esculentum, in the family Solanaceae cultivated for its fleshy edible fruit, which is red, pink, orange, yellow, white, or green, with fleshy placentas containing many small, oval seeds with short hairs and covered with a gelatinous matrix.
1. a solanaceous plant, Lycopersicon (or Lycopersicum) esculentum, of South America, widely cultivated for its red fleshy many-seeded edible fruits
2. the fruit of this plant, which has slightly acid-tasting flesh and is eaten in salads, as a vegetable, etc.