Several tomato samples showing catface symptoms have been submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic. This problem seems to be most common on large-fruited tomato varieties.
Affected fruit show leathery scars, bulges, or holes at the blossom end of the fruit. Photos of the samples submitted can be found at the Plant Disease Clinic website under Disease of the Week .
It is believed that the deformity is caused by cold weather that occurs at the time of fruit set. Cells that should develop into fruit are injured. Catfacing is most common on the fruit that are formed first.
This article originally appeared in the July 27, 2001 issue, p. 95.