They are usually red, scarlet, or yellow, though green and purple varieties do exist, and they vary in shape from almost spherical to oval and elongate to pear-shaped. Each fruit contains at least two cells of small seeds surrounded by jellylike pulp.

The plant requires relatively warm weather and much sunlight; it is grown chiefly in hothouses in cooler climates. Tomatoes are usually staked, tied, or caged to keep the stems and fruits off the ground, and consistent watering is necessary to avoid blossom-end rot and cracking of the fruits.