Monday, January 2, 2012

Solanum pyracanthum

Last year, I posted for help identifying a real "Tim Burton" like weed which was identified as Buffalo Burr. This one is a deliberate addition because I just like it. Nothing seems to eat it...yet, though I know being a Solanum, it's likely quite toxic. But, the spines are beautiful, even if they eminiate from every plant surface. They glow in the direct sun much like the prickles on R. Omeiensis pteracantha. Like that rose, it does feel very prehistoric. I find it rather sculptural and very interesting. Besides, with a common name of "Devil's Tomato", how could I resist?

I've been told to watch it as it can help itself to the entire hill, though in over a year, only one seedling has volunteered. Even when I harvested the small, green "tomatoes" it forms from each flower and deliberately planted the seed, only one germinated and has gone to 'grace' a friend's garden. The seedling has grown to an amazing size, probably due to his fertile potting soil and partial shade he's provided, but here in this 'dirt' and in harsher conditions, both are remaining under two far...

It belongs here, it DOES have "thorns".


  1. How interesting. I don't recall ever seeing a plant with thorns on the central spines of its leaves, as well as on the branches. And it's not a weed until it grows somewhere you don't want it to grow.

  2. Agreed. I actually bought my first plant of this because of the needles all over it. They're actually quite attractive, as long as you don't have to TOUCH it, particularly when the sun shines through the spines. Then, they are quite golden. Want seeds?

  3. I have one of these on my bedroom window sill, Love it, but i was wondering if there is a way of taking cuttings so i can have grow a couple for friends?

    1. I've not tried it, Alex, but I would think so. I know you can root tomatoes and many other solanum types. Why not this one? If yours flowers, try pollinating it to produce 'tomatoes' from it. I have raised it from seed, but found it to be far less willing to germinate than I was warned of it being. You might try rooting it as you would either soft wood rose or other perennial cuttings. It should work once you hit on the proper method for where you are.