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Very spiny, low and spreading habit, with branching near the ground, large orange fruit.
The fruit's juices can be irritating to the touch.
Solanum bahamense is native across the West Indies, from the Florida Keys east to Dominica. It is a common species in coastal habitats, often on calcareous soils.
It grows into a large bushy shrub and has pretty lavender flowers followed by very showy clusters of red fruit, resembling mini cherry tomatoes.
Easy to grow and fast growing.
An evergreen tree growing to 10-15 ft by 10-12 ft at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. The plant is self-fertile: the scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. Tree Tomato performs best at medium to high elevations. It is more popular in the Asiatic Tropics, New Zealand, and the Andean region of South America than in the Caribbean region. Trunk diameter is about 4 inches (10 cm). The large cordate-ovate leaves have a pungent smell. Plants have a shallow spreading root system and resent surface hoeing, they are best given a good mulch. The small, pinkish, fragrant flowers are produced in April or May in short axillary cymes near the ends of the branches. 2-3" fruit is eaten raw or cooked. The flavour can vary considerably from tree to tree, the best forms are juicy and sub-acid, they are eaten out of hand, added to salads, used in preserves, jams, jellies etc. The mature fruits resemble a hen's egg in size and shape and, in the West Indies, ripen from October to January. The 2-carpeled fruits are orange, red, or purple, depending on the variety. Internally the fruit consists of a meaty mesocarp and tomatolike seeds imbedded in a watery pulp. In flavor it is subacid and is generally considered to resemble the garden tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). The fruit is most commonly stewed to form a conserve. Unlike the garden tomato, the seeds and skin of the tree tomato should be removed before cooking. The unripe fruit is slightly toxic. The seedlings grow rapidly and generally produce the second year. Plants are subject to attacks by red spider mites, susceptible to nematodes.
Winter cherries are usually planted as winter bedding in pots or window boxes to provide color during the most difficult time of the year. They are perennial though, and make neat little shrubs in a sheltered border. The small white flowers appear continuously from midsummer onwards and while these are fairly insignificant, they are soon followed by fruits about the size of a cherry. These fruits start off green but quickly change color through yellow and orange, to red. Solanum capsicastrum is well worth growing as a single plant in a pot for the patio where it will become an asset for many years. Do not eat the fruit though as they contain toxins. Once planted, ensure the plant always gets adequate supplies of water. Give a feed of fertilizer occasionally to encourage fruit to grow well. An easy plant to look after. This plant is suitable for growing indoors.
Supposedly, the plant described as Solanum pseudocapsicum and called Jerusalem Cherry, Madeira Winter Cherry, or, ambiguously, Winter Cherry is a closely related but distinct species. But these supposed differences are inconsistently given in various horticultural sources, and no botanical source has in recent times distinguished between the two. Indeed, these taxa are now generally held to refer to the same species, and the 'Jerusalem cherry', if it is at all distinguishable, seems to be a chemotype at best, or just a motley collection of cultivars.
Rare plant native only to the U.S. Virgin Islands, growing in seasonally dry, coastal habitat. It is limited to the island of St. John, where there are approximately 190 plants living in the wild. Solanum conocarpum has very large, conical berries that are green at maturity.
A perennial woody shrub, can be shaped into a small standard tree. Leaves are 1-2", dark green and shiny/glossy, come in unequal pairs: one is large and elliptic, the other small and rounded. The drooping white flowers have five recurved petals and stamens with large yellow anthers. The flowers are pollinated by wasps, bees, and flies-the vibration of the wings causes the anthers to release the pollen. The many-seeded berries ripen to yellow-orange. They are very sweet and juicy. The fruit attract sweet-loving insects and birds. Birds eat the berries and are the primary dispersers of the seeds.
This plant is listed as poisonous (like many plants of Solanaceae Family), so it is unknown if the fruit is harmless to humans.
It is cultivated in China and Taiwan as an ornamental and for hedges. Can become invasive in favorable conditions.
Solanum dulcamara is a semi-woody herbaceous perennial vine, which scrambles over other plants, capable of reaching a height of 4 m where suitable support is available, but more often 1-2 m high.
Although fatal human poisonings are rare, several cases have been documented. The red berries are toxic but, fortunately, very bitter so it is implicated in only a handful of accidental poisonings.