Rainbow Tomatoes and Other Fake Fruit & Vegetable Seeds

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Robert Pavlis

It’s almost time to start buying seeds and it’s easy to find all sorts of unusual seeds. The rainbow tomatoes shown below are very popular, but what kind of tomatoes do they produce?

What about blue strawberries and purple pumpkins – they sound delicious. The one I am really interested in is the new vegan burger tree seed.

Rainbow Tomatoes and Other Fake Vegetable Seeds
Rainbow Tomatoes and Other Fake Vegetable Seeds, photo source: Family Resale Store

Rainbow Tomatoes

Rainbow Tomatoes and Other Fake Vegetable Seeds
Rainbow Tomatoes and Other Fake Vegetable Seeds
Grown from rainbow tomato seed
Grown from rainbow tomato seed

It’s hard to believe people fall for these. How many plants produce fruits of different colors on the same plant? None that I know of.

But these seeds look like fun and some gardeners have tried them. The ones I talked to, all got red tomatoes, as shown in the picture.

Soil Science for Gardeners book by Robert Pavlis

Rainbow Blends

There are some rainbow blends which are are mixture of different cultivars. The Heirloom Rainbow Blend Tomato includes black, pink, red or yellow Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, White Wonder and Orange Nebraska Wedding. These are not fakes, but each plant will only have one color of fruit.

Heirloom Rainbow Blend Tomato
Heirloom Rainbow Blend Tomato are not fakes, photo source: Home Depot

Blue Strawberries

In 1998, some research produced a GMO strawberry, when the antifreeze gene from an Arctic flounder was introduced into the strawberry. This resulted in blue strawberries.

Blue strawberries - fakes
Blue strawberries – fakes, photo source: Ebay
Fake rainbow strawberry
Fake rainbow strawberry, photo source: Banggood

Many myths are based on some truth and in this case the GMO strawberry was actually produced. But it was not blue which is the result of an imaginative graphic artist with some cool software – actually almost anyone can do this coloring these days.

Blue strawberries do not exist, and before you ask, neither do the black ones, or the spectacular rainbow ones.

If you are looking for fake seeds of any kind – Ebay is a great place to loose some money.

Fake Pumpkins

Fall can be kind of boring – all those reds and oranges. Why not spice things up with blue, purple and yellow.

I really like this picture. They included a real pumpkin just to give the ad some credibility, but if you look closely at the picture the other ones all look like they have fake backgrounds or no backgrounds which are even easier to photoshop.

Fake pumpkins
Fake pumpkins, photo source: Fake Botanicals

Fake Wasabi Seeds

I have never thought of growing wasabi from seed but I guess there is interest in this or else people would not fake them. Actually that is not true. You can buy thousands of different rare seeds but all you get is junk.

These seeds are too small and the wrong color. “Wasabi seeds are normally in the region of 5-8mm in diameter, black or dark brown in colour and have slight wrinkling in the seed coating.”

This pack contained two types of seeds, probably mustard and weed seed.

Fake wasabi seed, photo source: World of Wasabi
Fake wasabi seed, photo source: World of Wasabi

Fake Giant Strawberries

Strawberries are getting bigger and bigger, but some of the seeds being sold are just ridiculous fakes.

The picture below is a bit over the top but there are many other exaggerated pictures on the internet. I like the title of this one: “Milk Strawberry bonsai Super Giant strawberries plant Fruit NON-GMO Very Sweet Juicy”. OK, so the translation from Chinese (AliExpress is a Chinese company) is not very good, but how can it be both a giant and a bonsai? At least it’s not a GMO.

Fake giant strawberries
Fake giant strawberries, photo source: AliExpress

A Pear of Buddhas

Sold as “Sapodilla Solanum, pear Buddha” seeds. A pear is neither sapodilla nor solanum (a tomato), but they are so cute people will buy them. And after waiting 8 years for the seed to produce fruit, they will be disappointed.

These were probably grown in a mold and based on the color, they might be Asian pears.

A fake pear of Buddhas, photo source:
A fake pear of Buddhas, photo source: Fake Botanicals

Fake Picture Giveaway

How can you tell a real picture from a fake? Have a close look at the color. If it is all one color it’s a fake. In nature fruits are never just one color. You see different shades of color in each fruit – but this is much harder to fake in software, although it can be done.

Fake Vegan Burger Tree

Fake Vegan Burger Tree
Fake Vegan Burger Tree, photo source: Test Out

Seeds are available from Garden Fundamentals for only $10 per package, enough to grow hundreds of fake burgers.


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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

19 thoughts on “Rainbow Tomatoes and Other Fake Fruit & Vegetable Seeds”

  1. I love they way the various “rainbow-colored” tomatoes growing on the same stalk all magically ripened to their various perfect rainbow hues at exactly the same time.

  2. I’ve eaten a blue strawberry before, someweres I seen that 1 in a million strawberries are blue but I can’t fi d anything about blue strawberry anywhere online. But yes I eaten a blue strawberry that was 1 in a pack of regular strawberries from the store.

  3. I am embarrassed to admit that I fell for the fake colored tomato seeds con. I paid by credit card and never received the seeds.

  4. Search “rainbow colored cape gooseberries”. SO pretty, I wish they were real! I’ve been tricked twice. Once I ordered what was supposed to be “turquoise peppers”. Yeah, right. The green hue was nice, though. I also once ordered chocolate cosmos seeds before I learned that real chocs are only sold as tubers because they are mostly sterile. You can only grow them by breaking new nodes off the tubers. Good side of all this- I now research everything I want to add to my garden extensively prior to purchase!

    • This is what brought me here!!! I saw them on a facebook ad or something and I have been “whois”ing the websites and seeing if they all use the same photo. They do use the same photo. And one site says they are shipped FedEx or DHL for fastest shipping… but it still somehow takes a month. (het-hemmm maybe from China… ??) Super bummed that they arent real.

      I have bought seeds from overseas before and they never grew anything. I am such a sucker for pretty plants!

  5. Yes, way too many fake products for sale now. 🙁

    Some of them are harder to tell by the photo than others. Like mini Lotus and some of the giant fruit where they take photos of read fruit with a wideangle camera lens.

  6. One more comment on this subject, if I may be permitted. So, there certainly appears to be NO END to the number of thieves, fakers, and fraudsters abroad these days, aided and abetted in many instances by the latest technological developments.
    But what I think exercabates the inclination of many people to be deceived is that in some cases quite different colors, tastes, and textures can be achieved by growing various varieties: tomatoes which are green when ripe, others that are not red, but pink, orange, yellow, and like those I grew this year, Black Beauty, that was, indeed, completely black when ripe. Though quite productive, I wouldn’t recommend them because the taste doesn’t measure up to traditional heirlooms, or even the best modern hybrids.

  7. Great topic!
    I remember seeing “rainbow roses” for sale on Amazon a few years ago. Being familiar with Photoshop, I wasn’t fooled, but I wondered how anyone could be allowed to peddle such phony merchandise. But it looks to me as if even legitimate vendors like to use photos with “boosted” color (Jade vine!!!)

  8. But, to be clear, it is true, is it not, that genes have been introduced into some plants from entirely unrelated organisms— like from a fish to corn. Am I wrong? And is this not the meaning of genetic modification?

    • Genes can be moved from any organism into any other. Don’t know specifically that fish genes have been moved to corn, but they certainly could be.

      The definition of “genetic modification” depends very much on who is using the term but , yes this is one form of genetic modification.

  9. I work in a garden center and have had customers come in and ask for some strange things–the lady looking for the “burgundy/black” marigold. I told her there was no such thing–but she showed a picture she’d gotten online. I told her it had likely been photo-shopped–because the picture was an exact replica of a variety called Red Metamorph. She all but accused me of lying to her just to get her to buy the seeds at our store. I just told her to go ahead and give it a try-but that I’d love to see a flower, when they bloomed. Now, to her credit, she did come in and apologize with a very pretty little Red Metamorph marigold in hand….

  10. Thank you so much for addresing this at all, I am always on the hunt for real heirloom varieties of veggies and it drives me up the wall when I’m spammed with these fake advertsiements. The worst part is some people actually buy these because they leave reviews!!!


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