|Number of plants found: 206||Prev||Next||Go to page:||First||32||33||34||35||36||37||38||39||40||41||Last|
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.
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.