Cultivated plant at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia
Photograph by: Melburnian
Solanum centrale is an erect to sprawling, spiny herbaceous perennial plant, producing stems usually 20 - 40cm long, but sometimes up to 100cm long, from a perennial rootstock. The stems can become more or less woody[
]. The plant often forms suckers[
The fruits are harvested from the wild for local use. One of the most delicious and popular of the Australian wild fruits, they are being cultivated on a small scale in Australia for marketing as 'bush tucker'[
The unripe fruit is toxic[
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most plants in the family Solanaceae also contain poisonous alkaloids. Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
Australia - Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia.
Arid, sandy desert areas[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the drier parts of the subtropics and tropics of Australia.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Small quantities can be eaten fresh[
]. The dried, shrivelled fruits have a rich, spicy, aromatic flavour[
]. The dried fruits can be ground into a powder or preserved in oil[
]. After rubbing in the native red sand, they are said to taste more like raisins[
]. They are excellent in sauces, chutneys, relishes, jams and salsas[
]. Traditionally, the fruits are gathered by the Aborigines, processed, dried and stored as staple foods[
]. The drab green, then yellowish, globose fruits are 10 - 15mm in diameter[
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