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Care of the plant Solanum giganteum or Red bitter-berry

Care of the tree Solanum giganteum or Red bitter-berry

The genus Solanum, family Solanaceae, comprises 1,700 species distributed throughout the planet. Some species are: Solanum giganteum, Solanum wendlandii, Solanum rantonnetii, Solanum pseudocapsicum, Solanum capsicastrum, Solanum jasminoides, Solanum crispum, Solanum pyracanthum, Solanum melongena, Solanum mauritianum.

Common names: Healing-leaf tree, Giant bitter-apple, Red bitter-apple, Red bitter-berry. This species is native to South Africa.

They are small trees or evergreen shrubs that reach 6 meters (19.68 feet) in height. The large elliptical leaves (25 cm/9.84") are velvety, with an intense green color on the upper surface and greyish green on the underside. The branches have some thorns and white hairs. The flowers are blue-purple in color, appear in clusters and give off an aroma. They bloom from late spring to mid-fall. They produce berry-shaped fruits that are first green, then orange, and finally purplish-red.

They are used to form bushy groups and as isolated specimens. They are ideal for Mediterranean coastal gardens. In South Africa it's used as a medicinal plant for wounds or throat ulcers.

Solanum giganteum needs full sun or semi-shade exposure. They do not resist temperatures below 5 ºC (41 ºF).

The soil should be well drained and contain some loamy sand.

Water moderately, waiting until the soil has dried; they are quite resistant to drought plants.

They do not need pruning or fertilizers.

They are quite resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases.

They are propagated from seeds sown in spring and by cuttings.

Images of the tree Solanum giganteum or Red bitter-berry

Solanum giganteum
Solanum giganteum
Solanum giganteum
Solanum giganteum
Solanum mauritianum
Solanum mauritianum