Tomato Leaf Types
Part 3 of 6
We are getting to some of the most aesthetically pleasing leaf types of all. Both chartreuse and variegated plants have to do with chlorophyll function, or the pigment in the leaves, but each in different ways. In this article, we will look at the chartreuse leaf.
Chartreuse leaves are one of the most rare color type of leaves there are, and they can sometimes be confused with a sickly plant or one that’s in desperate need of some fertilizer. They exhibit a pale yellow-green color due to overall low chlorophyll production across the entire plant, controlled by the recessive lutescent (l) gene or one of its several alleles. Because there are so many genetic variances, plants can present larger or smaller percentages of chlorophyll loss, which makes some appear “brighter” yellow or just slightly lighter in shade than the average tomato leaf pigment.
This color type can come in any of the different leaf shapes, from regular to potato leaf to wispy. Some varieties that display this electric green coloring include Livingston’s Honor Bright, Lutescent, many of the Cherokee Tiger series, and Long Tall Sally, which has some Cherokee Tiger genetics in its pedigree.
Another gene called the Galapagos gene (glg) is recessive and causes a light green color—not quite chartreuse green, but a pale dull green. This is found in the wild type Solanum cheesmaniae.