This is one of four similar species which replace one another down the Andes from Colombia to Bolivia:The other three are Solanum asteropilodes Bitter; Solanum glutinosum Dunal; and Solanum iodotrichum van Heurck & Muell. Arg.
Solanum dammanianum Regel
Solanum formosum Dunal
Solanum crinitipes is a prickly shrub with spreading branches; it can grow around 150 - 300cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials. It can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland in drier areas.
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
Mostly in barren or stony sites with low or disturbed vegetation, especially common in severely overgrazed places and in dump sites and vacant lots in and around cities; at elevations from 2,200 - 3,600 metres[
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The globose, yellow or purplish berries are 12 - 15mm in diameter[
]. We have seen no reports on edibility.
The plant is used as a living fence and is also a good species to use within its native range as a pioneer when reforesting dry areas[
The fruit is used to eliminate chiggers (a type of mite that can cause severe irritation on the skin)[
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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