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Tomato (LYCOPERSICON ESCULENTUM) is a member of the genus Lycopersicon and was categorized thus by the Swedish botanist Linnaeus. Its botanical name is literally translated from ancient Greek as “wolf peach,” which reflects the once widely held belief that the tomato was poisonous. In contrast, esculentum means “edible.” The genus Lycopersicon is in the Solanaceae family of plants, which contains several species of plants of food or ornamental value, including the potato, tobacco, eggplant (aubergine), tamarillo, hot and sweet peppers (capsicum), Cape gooseberry, ground cherry, and various nightshades. The tomato is a vine that bears round or oval fleshy fruits with a high juice content. It is an annual plant whose stem grows between three to 10 feet (one to three meters). The stem ...

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