We address the question of how soil flooding closes stomata of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv Ailsa Craig) plants within a few hours in the absence of leaf water deficits. Three hypotheses to explain this were tested, namely that (a) flooding increases abscisic acid (ABA) export in xylem sap from roots, (b) flooding increases ABA synthesis and export from older to younger leaves, and (c) flooding promotes accumulation of ABA within foliage because of reduced export. Hypothesis a was rejected because delivery of ABA from flooded roots in xylem sap decreased. Hypothesis b was rejected because older leaves neither supplied younger leaves with ABA nor influenced their stomata. Limited support was obtained for hypothesis c. Heat girdling of petioles inhibited phloem export and mimicked flooding by decreasing export of [14C]sucrose, increasing bulk ABA, and closing stomata without leaf water deficits. However, in flooded plants bulk leaf ABA did not increase until after stomata began to close. Later, ABA declined, even though stomata remained closed. Commelina communis L. epidermal strip bioassays showed that xylem sap from roots of flooded tomato plants contained an unknown factor that promoted stomatal closure, but it was not ABA. This may be a root-sourced positive message that closes stomata in flooded tomato plants.