Pseudocapsicum diphyllum (L.) Medik.
Common Name: Jurubeba
Solanum diphyllum is a small, straggly shrub growing around 100 - 200cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, It has been widely cultivated as an ornamental foliage shrub, and for its pretty flowers and brightly colored fruits[
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[
C. America - Costa Rica, north through Guatemala to central Mexico
Drier lowland areas; at elevations up to 250 metres[
Solanum diphyllum is native to subtropical and tropical regions of Mexico and central America. In cultivation it has also proved to be hardy in warm temperate areas such as southern France, southern Italy and Florida[
Solanum diphyllum has been grown as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation in many areas[
]. It is established in tropical and subtropical regions in countries such as India, China, the Philippines and southern N. Americap418].
The ripe fruit is edible[
]. The fruit is a globose berry around 7 - 12mm in diameter. It is green and hard when immature, becoming bright orange and fleshy when ripe[
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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