Crimson Cushion, rare Heirloom
see history was
developed from a sport of Ponderosa. Crimson Cushion is a deeper red, more
reliable, and earlier than other beefsteak types of its day. Peter Henderson introduced the variety in 1892.
The tomato is also sometimes known as Red Ponderosa or just plain Beefsteak, but
not all tomatoes so titled are Crimson Cushion; only those whose heritage trace
back to Henderson's original sport. The lengthy, wilt
resistant vines produce bright red 12 to 18 oz, meaty fruit.
Beefsteaks are distinguishable from other tomato types by containing numerous small seed cavities with meaty walls distributed throughout the fruit, whereas other tomatoes have larger but fewer cavities around a central core. Beefsteaks lack a central core.
Sandwich perfect beefsteaks are the most popular tomatoes with home gardeners, but less so with commercial growers who find the smaller determinate slicing tomatoes more compatible with mechanization.
True beefsteak varieties are indeterminate. They usually are slower to produce first fruit, taking 80 days or more, but unlike many determinate plants, the vines will continue to grow and produce fruit until frost.