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Mock Tomato (Solanum aethiopicum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Mock Tomato
Solanum aethiopicum

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – cooked when fully ripe[1, 2, 46, 105]. It can be used like aubergine (Solanum melongena) as a vegetable or as a flavouring for other foods[183]. We have only grown this plant once, the fruits were not at all pleasant, with a distinct bitterness[K]. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter[200].

    The very young leaves are said to be edible when cooked[177] though they are bitter[183]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many if not all the members have poisonous leaves and sometimes also the unripe fruits.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving some protection, such as a cloche, until the plants are growing away strongly[K].
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils when growing in a sunny position[1]. Cultivated for its edible fruit in northern and central Africa[61], there are some named varieties[183]. This species is not cold-hardy in Britain though it can be grown as an annual, flowering and fruiting in its first year from seed[K]. Slugs really love the young plants and will totally destroy them if given half a chance[K].
Asia to Tropical Africa.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.