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Maturity midseason
Growth habit indet.
Leaf type regular
Fruit color red
Fruit shape oblate, globe
Fruit size medium
Fruit type slicer, canner
Variety type historic, commercial heirloom
Country USA

Burpee's description from the 1888 Burpee's Seed Catalog:

"THE CARDINAL. This new tomato, named and introduced by us in 1884, has given excellent satisfaction. It colors right up to the calyx, and every specimen is virtually of one color, the most brilliant cardinal red; the flesh appears of the same red color, being scarcely any lighter. The pulp is very thick, with comparatively few seeds and absolutely no green core. In shape the Cardinal is nearly round and uniformly smooth, withough any ridges. It is as early and much larger in size than Livingston's Perfection. The fruits are firm and solid; keep well. The plants bear abundantly throughout the entire summer."

Henderson's description from the 1890 Peter Henderson & Co Vegetable Seeds Catalog:

"CARDINAL. Color brilliant cardinal red when ripe; appearing as if varnished; flesh of almost as bright a color. In shape almost round, solid, and with very few seeds."


  • A vey old commercial tomato variety introduced by W. Atlee Burpee in 1884.
  • Sometimes a totally different variety, Kardinal, is incorrectly spelled as 'Cardinal'.
  • There was also an F1 hybrid called Cardinal released by the Joseph Harris Co. in the late 1950s.
  • PI 270175. Donated to USDA in 1960.

See also

  • Kardinal (pink heart-shaped Russian commercial tomato)

Seed Availability

Year Commercial Vendors Seed Savers Yearbook (Member listings) Seeds of Diversity (Member listings)
2018 . .
2017 . .
2016 . .
2015 . .
2014 Victory Seed Company . .
2013 Victory Seed Company . .
2012 Victory Seed Company 1 0
2011 Victory Seed Company 1 0
2010 Victory Seed Company 1 .
2009 Victory Seed Company 1 .
2008 Victory Seed Company 2 .
2007 2 .

Facts about CardinalRDF feed
CountryUSA +
Fruit colorred +
Fruit shapeoblate + and globe +
Fruit sizemedium +
Fruit typeslicer + and canner +
Growth habitindet. +
Leafregular +
Maturitymidseason +
Variety typehistoric + and commercial heirloom +
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