Paul Robeson Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple ( Top Differences)

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Both types, Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes, are Black Heirloom varieties. Both are fantastic varieties that can be grown alternately during different seasons or the same season. However, you must be aware of their differences before you decide whether or not to give them the chance to try.

Paul Robeson Vs Cherokee Purple tomato, What are the most notable distinctions?

The primary distinction between the two varieties of Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes is their taste and size. Paul Robeson is sweeter. It’s a light red tomato with a tangy, smokey flavor. It’s also juicy and balanced between sweetness and acidity. Cherokee Purple is a deep red tomato that is not as sweet and smoky, and it is larger in diameter, with a beefsteak-like appearance.

Follow along; let’s find out more in-depth differences between Paul Robeson Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple. We will also share with you care tips for both of these varieties.

Paul Robeson Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple

They’re identical Black Heirloom strains, which means they can share many similarities. But, Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes also have distinctions. This article will cover each aspect to help you determine which one to pick for the coming season.

Check out the comparison table below:

InfoPaul Robeson TomatoCherokee Purple
USDA Hardiness ZonesZones 3 to 11 Zones 5a-8b
OriginRussiaSoutheastern United States
VarietiesBlack HeirloomBlack Heirloom
Size2 - 4 inches in diameter3 - 5 inches in diameter
Spacing25 to 36 inches17 to 36 inches
Depth to plant1/4 inch deep1/2 inch deep
ColorCherokee is a brighter, deeper red. The skin is purpleA dark pink with a greenish tint. Reddish-purple
Maturation periodBetween 80 and 95 days75-90 days
Soil typeRich, well-drained, and loose.Rich, well-drained, and loose.
Soil pH6.0 - 6.86.0 - 6.8
Irrigation1.25 inches per week1.25 inches per week
SunlightFull sun (6 to 10 hours) each daySun full (6 -8 hours) throughout the day
Applicationscooked or rawraw or cooked

The above traits could be classified as the differences and similarities of Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes.

Paul Robeson Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple: What Makes Them Different?

In addition to the differences in sweetness, Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes differ in regions like the ones below.

  • Source
  • Skin thickness
  • Color
  • Taste

Country of origin

Paul Robeson TomatoPin

The two varieties of tomatoes come from different regions of the world.

Paul Robeson tomato is a variety of Paul Robeson tomato that originates from Siberia, Russia. It’s named after the famous American actor Paul Robeson. The actor was also a human rights advocate, singer, actor, and athlete. The name of this tomato is in honor of Paul Robeson in recognition of his commitment to his work. Marina Danilenko is the private seed seller who introduced the Paul Robeson tomato to the US.

However, it is also known as the Cherokee Purple tomato and has its roots in Sevierville, Tennessee, USA. John Green obtained the tomato seeds from one of his neighbors who had bought the tomatoes from growers over 100 years ago. The farmers received the seeds from Cherokee Indians.

John Green sent a package of Cherokee seeds to the renowned seed preserver and tomato lover Craig Lahoullier in 1990. He also wrote an explanation message to his recipient. Craig Lahoullier named the tomato variety “Cherokee Purple” in response to John Green’s account in the note. The purple portion of the name derives due to its red hue close to purple.

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Craig Lahoullier planted the seed and was so impressed with the tomatoes that he decided to share his seed with seed companies that sold Cherokee Purple seeds in the US.


Cherokee Purple tomatoesPin

You can distinguish between Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes by their different colors.

Its exterior for the Paul Robeson variety is dark brick red with olive-to-dark green shoulders. The flesh of the variety is red when it’s fully mature.

Cherokee Purple tomato is deep dark pink/rosy skin color, with the top of the tomato being brownish green. The flesh of the tomato is deep red-purple.

Skin thickness

Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes have different skin thicknesses.

Paul Robeson tomatoes are thin-skinned; consequently, they can quickly explode if an intense downpour occurs. So, placing them safely, such as in a greenhouse, is recommended. To get the best results, plant them before May 1st. If you plan to plant them outside, place them in an umbrella to shield them against cracks.

Contrary to that, Cherokee Purple tomatoes are thick-skinned. But, they’re not strong enough to withstand the force of the rain. They can burst and cause rot when exposed to excessive rain or humidity. Therefore, creating the proper arrangements to protect your planting space is essential.


Although both contain a sweet, smoky, and spicy flavor, they are different to a degree.

Paul Robeson is richly sweet and smoky and has notes of acidity. The fruity and juicy Paul Robeson blends sweetness and acidity perfectly.

However, The Cherokee Purple variety is less sweet and less smokey. It’s not as delicious as Paul Robeson’s, but it’s refreshingly tart and has an earthy, long-lasting flavor.

See Also: Sun Sugar vs Sungold Tomatoes (Top Differences)

Paul Robeson Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple: Similarities

Because Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes are part of one of the same families, they share some similarities, which include these.

  • Usage: A great way to take advantage of both types is raw and cooked. Cut them into pieces for sandwiches and salads or use them for cooking various delights. They can be used to make sauces for pizza or pasta. Whatever way you choose to consume these, they are delicious and satisfying.
  • Sort: The two varieties are indeterminate heirloom tomatoes. They continue to grow until winter sets in and puts them to sleep. Paul Robeson grows between 4 and 8 feet tall, and the Cherokee Purple tomato plant height is between 4 and 6 feet tall. As they develop, they’ll produce more fruit.
  • Dimension: Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes are about similar sizes. The former is a diameter between 3 and 4 inches, and the other’s diameter range is between 3 and 5 inches. You’ll be keen to differentiate between them according to dimensions.
  • Form Both kinds are steak tomatoes. They are huge and possess very tiny seeds. They also have much more flesh in them than seeds, as well as juice. This is why they are described as steaks since they can be cut as a piece of steak (beef steak).
  • Container: The best way to keep all of your Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes is by drying, canning, or freezing. You can also freeze blanched and peeled tomatoes for as long as 3 months. Canned tomatoes can last longer.
  • Spacing: Similar to other varieties of tomatoes, Our focus on tomatoes requires enough space. The Paul Robeson variety needs 24 to 36 inches of space, and twelve to 36 inches of space is perfect for the Cherokee Purple variety. It allows your tomatoes ample air circulation and plenty of space to spread.
  • Staking: Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes are both indeterminate varieties. Staking is required. Staking supports constantly growing plants by preventing them from twisting and possibly causing breakage to the plant. Alternatively, you can attach your tomato plants to the Trellis.
  • Maturation time: The two varieties require about 2.5 up to three months between planting to maturation. Paul Robeson matures after about 75 days. The development period of Cherokee Purple tomatoes ranges from 80-90 days.
  • Nutritional information: Paul Robeson and Cherokee tomatoes are highly nutritious. They are brimming with minerals and vitamins, which are vital for your health. The essential nutrients include vitamin C, A, potassium, folic acid, and the chemical lycopene.
  • Type of soil: Like other varieties of tomatoes, the two sorts thrive in well-drained soils with enough nutrients. The soil must be moist but not sloppy. It should also not contain a lot of nitrogen because it causes the plants to become tangled and less fruitful.
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What do Cherokee purple tomatoes taste like?

The Cherokee Purple tomato is a rich, dusty pink tomato with green shoulders when fully mature. They have a deep, almost smokey taste and are quite sweet. The fruit is huge and acidic, with thick skin and an earthy, lasting taste.

What number of tomatoes can a Cherokee Purple produce?

Cherokee Purple produces about twenty tomatoes per season of growth. However, having come from varieties of heirloom tomatoes, It’s not very productive. Why? They’re not hybrids and therefore are more susceptible to disease and pests. This means they are easily damaged, and you only get about a third of the item.

When is Paul Robeson tomato ripe?

It is said that a Paul Robeson tomato it’s ripe when it is at its peak color. So don’t wait around for your tomatoes to soften. Even if they seem to be a bit like they’re a bit hard, they’re in good shape as long as their color is fully developed. The typical time for tomatoes is 6-8 weeks to mature following their fruiting.

Can I Prune Purple Cherokee Tomatoes?

It is essential to prune the stems of your Cherokee tomato plants. Trimming your tomatoes down to one or two healthy branches is essential. Remove any suckers after they’ve grown to a length of between 2 and 4 inches. Take the stems and tie their ends around stakes to provide adequate support. Use a cloth, soft string, or twine to secure your branches around the stake.

See Also: How to Grow Campari Tomatoes

Conclusion: Paul Robeson Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple

The line between the two varieties is a fine distinction regarding Paul Robeson Vs Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, as they are identical Black Heirloom varieties. This means they share many similarities in terms of soil type, dimensions, shapes, growth period, maintenance, and preservation technique, not to mention a few.

If you are looking for a sweeter tomato, go with Paul Robeson. While the Cherokee Purple tomato has a smokier flavor, it is less sweet and has less tang. The Cherokee Purple is a good choice for people who enjoy eating fresh tomatoes.

Both are great, whether cooked or raw, and beneficial for your health.

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