Tomato Oleron Yellow

A Yellow cherry open pollinated tomato on indeterminate plants.


Oleron Yellow is a medium sized, pale yellow cherry tomato with an excellent sweet taste, one of the best yellow tomatoes we have tasted. Collected from the French island of Oleron where they have been grown for “hundreds of years”, they were put on one side by our seed supplier to “try another day” whilst they grew the Oleron Red.

The vigorous growing Indeterminate plant grows well (even in the exceptionally poor summer of 2011 in the UK) and was the first plant to reach the top of the polytunnel at 7ft. The tomatoes ripened in the second flush (after the very early varieties like Bloody Butcher and Red Cherry but before the later varieties like Brown Berry and the Beefsteak tomatoes). They continued cropping late into the season. Once ripening they have to be watered carefully as they are prone to split (like Black Cherry) if they are overwatered once the skin has set.

The flavour was unexpected. Yellow tomatoes have a tendency to be somewhat tasteless and the flesh to be mealy but these have a bright, sweet taste and are well worth growing.

Now we go into our history with this cultivar. In 2012, having grown them (and liked them) we went back to our supplier (Tomatofest) to order some more, only to find that they weren’t available. We had kept some seed, so decided to grow from our saved seed. They grew well but the only plant we grew had red fruit (not what we expected – perhaps a throwback to Oleron Red?). We were disappointed as we had liked the fruit so much. However, when we looked at the seeds again, we noticed that they looked different, some were “dark and hairy” and others were “pale and not hairy”. So in 2014 we grew a number of plants from the different seeds and ended up with three different strains, one Red, one Pale Yellow and one Dark Yellow.

We discarded the Red Seeds and kept the Dark Oleron Yellow (A) and Pale Oleron Yellow (B) and have continued to grow them and keep the seed. The result is two strains of Yellow Cherry tomatoes with slightly different flavour and behaviour. Dark Oleron Yellow (A) is earlier (1-2 weeks), darker (as the name suggests) and sweeter that the Pale Oleron Yellow (B) which is slightly tarter and crops for longer.

We’ve been growing these each year since and keeping seed and we will continue to do so whilst the tomatoes interest us.

2018 saw the two varieties maintain their difference with (if anything) the difference between types “A” and “B” becoming more pronounced, so we kept going. However, when we grew them in 2019, in common with all the tomatoes, we had a bad year and 2020 we will have to go back to a previous year’s seeds.

2020: The story continues. We grew two plants (since our polytunnel was destroyed earlier in the year we have less space). Unfortunately, I’ve now got mixed up and don’t know which are the “dark” or “light” ones. However, one of the plants is amongst the earliest, having a ripe fruit in early July, 50+ days after potting out. Both plants grew vigorously and produced a reasonable crop. I’m going to have to go through the various packets and sort them out back to the type.

2022: In 2022, we have again grown two plants and I must admit I’m really confused which was which – filing is not my strong point – but the first ones this year are pale yellow and round the later ones are slightly darker and more oval in shape. I can only assume that I’ve ended up with a whole range of slightly different cultivars which is fun but makes life more difficult.

2023: This year I’ve grown two plants of the same variety (light) because I normally have too many yellow cherry tomatoes so I’ve cut back on the number of plants. As you can see (in the picture below) they have done fine. The tomatoes seem to be slightly later this year (probably due to the wet July).

Oleron Yellow Family Tree

Quick Facts

  • Fruit Type: Cherry
  • Fruit Shape: Round(ish)
  • Fruit Size: 0.75 – 1 inch
  • Fruit Colour: Yellow
  • Flesh Colour: Yellow
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate
  • Seed Type: Open Pollinated
  • Leaf Type: Regular
  • Time to Ripe: Mid (Dark Earlier than Pale)
  • Taste: Sweet
  • Fruit per Truss: 8-10
  • Truss Spacing: 12-18 inches
  • Alternatives: Nikolayev Yellow Cherry, Aranyalma
  • Our Source: Tomatofest

Updated: 01/08/2023

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