Herb: Tree Tomato
Latin name: Cyphomandra betacea
Synonyms: Cyphomandra crassicaulis, Solanum betaceum
Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family, Potato Family)
Edible parts of Tree Tomato:Fruit - 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 fruit contains about 150 IU vitamin A per 100g, 25mg vitamin C, it is rich in vitamin E and iron but low in carbohydrate. Fruits are 4 - 10cm long and 3 - 5cm wide.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Dry soils at forest margins. Open forests at medium to high altitudes.
Propagation of Tree Tomato:Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 4 weeks at 15°C, within 2 weeks at 25°C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of greenwood in a frame.
Cultivation of the herb:Dry soils at forest margins. Open forests at medium to high altitudes.
Medicinal use of Tree Tomato:None known
Known hazards of Cyphomandra betacea:The unripe fruit is slightly toxic.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.