Closely related to, and hybridizes with, Solanum muricatum[
Solanum chiliadenium Bitter
Solanum grossularia subunijugum Bitter
Common Name: Pepino Iloron
Solanum caripense is a climbing or sprawling plant up to 2 metres or more tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit[
]. The plant is used in breeding programmes to improve the pepino (Solanum muricatum).
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most species in this genus also contain toxic alkaloids. Whilst these alkaloids can make the plant useful in treaing a range of medical conditions, they can also cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, salivation, drowsiness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weakness and respiratory depression[
Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
S. America - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela; C. America - Costa Rica.
In and on the edge of thickets, on wooded slopes and along streams, about the base of cliffs or sometimes on open slopes, at elevations of 800 - 3,800 metres[
Solanum caripense is found in a region of Ecuador that has an average annual temperature of 14.5°c, an average rainfall of 488mm per year and a relative humidity of 70%
]. The fruit, which is hardly larger than a cherry, is eagerly eaten by local people[
]. It has a sweetish flavour, which makes it palatable despite having little flesh and numerous seeds[
]. A juicy fruit that is thirst-quenching[
]. The yellow-green, globose fruit has violet-colorued longitudinal stripes; it is up to 40mm in diameter[
The tuber is halucinogenic[
The plant is used in breeding programmes to improve the pepino (Solanum muricatum).
Seed - sow in trays in a nursery. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out when 10cm or more tall.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood. Very easy, the cuttings root within a couple of weeks.
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