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Tomato Leaf Types

Wispy and Carrot Leaf

Part 5 of 6

The next two types of leaves are sometimes confused with each other because they have similar habits. Wispy or wilty leaves and carrot-type leaves are both very dainty, graceful-looking plants with a flowing graceful habit.

Carrot leaves have their own distinctive leaf that appears very cut and serrated, much like the leaves of a carrot plant, for which it gets its name. The lacy-looking leaves tend to drape from the plant in a semi-wispy form. There are only a small handful of varieties that have this type of leaves, such as Silvery Fir Tree and Lucinda.

The wispy or wilty leaf habit is very flowing, with elongated branching and fine, regular cut leaves. This comes from a recessive wilty (w) gene that is in some way related to heart- and plum-shaped fruiting patterns, meaning that in general—but not always—plants with this type of leaf will produce heart- or plum-shaped fruits. Some varietal examples of this type are Kosovo, Sgt. Pepper’s, Purple Russian, and Long Tall Sally.

There is also one other type of wilty gene: a dominant mutant gene (Wlt), which was discovered in a landrace variety out of Italy called simply Large Plum. Under less-than-ideal heat conditions, plants with this gene will appear wilted under the stress of heat where other varieties will remain upright and rigid. This mutation does not affect fruit production, but it looks rather sickly when stressed.



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