Usually grown as an ornamental for its unique fruits. The plant also has a few medicinal properties. The juice of the fruit shows some detergent activity and can be used for washing clothing. Has naturalized in parts of Central American and the Caribbean.
The nipple fruit is related to the naranjilla and tomato, and the plant looks similar. Large velvety leaves have purple veins and furry hair, along with prominent spikes.
The branches and stems are also dotted with firm thorns.
Bushy shrub to 1 m high. The pink-purple flowers develop during spring and are followed by the waxy, yellow colored fruit ripening a few months later. Fruits are fleshy, poisonous, and contain several seeds.
The nipple fruit is hardy to around 0C. Water regularly. The plant is not too particular about soil requirements.
Information source: http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/
Genus - Solanum
Species - Mammosum
Common name - Nipple Fruit
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 11
Height - 1 m
Spread - 0,60 - 0,90 m
Plant type - Annual shrub, houseplant
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil type - Organically rich
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Bizarre ornamental fruit for decoration
Bloom season - July - September
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Dark blue to lilac
Seeds can be sown outside just after the last frost.
Sow indoors from March to May. Carefully nick the edge of the seed with a very sharp blade or nail clippers. Soak in warm water for 24 hours.
Pot in sandy seed compost and keep soil moist.
Germinate at +25C. Germination in 10-14 days.
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