T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Solanum diflorum (False Jerusalem cherry)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. diflorum
Binomial name: Solanum diflorum
Synonyms: Solanum capsicastrum sensu New Zealand Botanists
Common names: False Jerusalem cherry, False capsicum

 The red-orange berries are poisonous if eaten.The Solanum diflorum  poison is primarily solanocapsine, which is similar to other alkaloids found in their genus, such as solanine and atropine.

The dull green elongated leaves are quite variable is size but can reach up to 14 x 8 cm, entire or with wavy margins and are covered in dense hairs when young.
Solanum diflorum is very similar to Solanum pseudocapsicum but can be distinguished by the hairs which are very dense on the young shoots and leaves. These hairs become scattered on older shoots and leaves. Solanum pseudocapsicum is almost always hairless.
Flowering occurs all year round and the flowers are white (1-1.4 cm across) and are usually solitary or in small clusters. The berries are scarlet or orange-red, round and up to about 1.5 cm in diameter, each containing a seed up to 3mm long. The seeds are dispersed by birds.

 

  

 

The hairy young leaves.