Solanum farinaceum Griff.
Solanum farinosum Wall.
Solanum niveum Thunb.
Common Name: African Holly
Fruiting plant in Ethiopia. You need to look carefully to see the green fruits!
Photograph by: Rafael Medina
Solanum giganteum is a short-lived, softly woody, spiny shrub or small tree usually growing 2 - 4 metres tall, sometimes to 8 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and in traditional medicine. It is sometimes grown to provide shade in Cardamom plantations and is often grown as an ornamental in gardens[
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[
Tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to Ethiopia and Somalia, south to Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and S. Africa; E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka.
Forest edges, riverine forest and among rocks on granite outcrops; at elevations from sea level to 1,650 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The fruits are edible but bitter[
The fruits are used to curdle milk[
The fruits and leaves are used in African traditional medicine to treat sores[
The woolly hairy underside of the leaves is used to clean wounds and the glabrous upper side is used to dress wounds[
The powdered dry leaves are added to bath water to overcome sleeplessness[
The fruits are edible but bitter and are used to treat throat ulcers[
The tree is commonly grown in S India as a shade tree in cardamom plantations[
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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