Most gardeners do not consider the foliage of the tomato plant, but the leaves of some are quite distinctive and can cause the plant to have an increased resistance to disease.
The regular tomato leaf is composed of a number of leaflets, each of which has a serrated, irregular edge, or margin.
Potato-leafed plants, such as 'Hillbilly Potato Leaf' (p53), may have a few lobes on their leaves, but generally the edges are smooth. They are slightly thicker than those of regular tomato plants, and they therefore may be more resistant to some diseases.
Some plants, such as 'Green Sausage' (p77), have more finely divided leaves than others; the Russian heirloom 'Silvery Fir Tree' (p28) is particularly known for its very fine leaves. The plant 'Variegated,' thought to have originated in Ireland, has leaves irregularly splashed with cream. Most attractive for their foliage are plants such as 'Elberta Girl' and 'Velvet Red' (p43); these have leaves so densely covered in silvery hairs that they are quite furry to the touch. This type of leaf is sometimes called an angora leaf, after the tomato variety of that name. It is important to keep an eye on the foliage of your tomato plants as they grow, because the first signs of many problems can occur there (pp114-117).
LEAF TYPES - don't reach straight for the fruit, the leaves like to show off too!
Regular Most plants, Potato A leaf form Serrated Some such as 'Ildi,' have with smooth edges plants have quite leaves with a that may be more fine leaves, such as toothed margin. resistant to disease. 'Green Sausage.'
Angora Covered in fine silvery hairs, these plants repel insect attack.
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