White Queen Tomato Plants
Improvement status: Cultivar
Origin: Shenandoah, Iowa
This tomato was introduced in 1941 by the Earl May Seed Company, of Shenandoah, Iowa. Eventually they fell into obscurity, but thankfully some were donated in 1963 for preservation to the USDA research station in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (They remain part of the USDA's core tomato collection and are now preserved at the Northeast Regional PI Station in Geneva, New York.) Some decades later, tomato guru Craig Lehoullier got a sample of seeds from the USDA, then shared them with another tomato guru, microbiologist Dr. Carolyn Male, and in 1995 Dr. Male re-introduced 'White Queen' to the world through the Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook. And are we ever glad she did. This is one of the most delicious tomatoes on the planet. Though it looks like a tomato that encountered Bunnicula (look it up), drained of all color, it has most certainly not been drained of flavor. 'White Queen' is sweet, juicy, and fruity. Like other light-colored tomatoes, it is relatively low in acidity, but it still has a complex flavor. Some fruit may have a slight yellow coloration, but in general this is considered the whitest of the white tomatoes — and seeds should only be saved from plants with the whitest tomatoes to best preserve the variety. Most people, when they see their first white tomato have absolutely no idea what to do with it — but after just one taste each and every one of them figures it out. Enjoy!
PLANTING TIPS: Space plants 16-24 inches apart.
Photo credit: EFN board member Owen Taylor, of Truelove Seeds