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Plant Identification: SOLVED: white flowers/green then red berries - please help identify!

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Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 5, Views: 61
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Clinton, MS

May 16, 2009
2:29 PM

Post #6555941

I'm wondering if anyone here can assist in identifying a plant I received as a gift. Nobody (even the person I received the plant from) seems to know anything about this plant except that it's pretty hardy and can be planted outside in the ground, although I have mine in a planter.

It has long leaves, is somewhat "bushy" and the leafy part has a similar smell to tomato plant leaves. It produces small white flowers with deep yellow middles. After the flowering, green "berries" begin to appear (though not from the place where the flowers were). The berries are NOT grouped, but rather spread out all over the plant and they eventually turn deep red/orange. Also, when the "ripe" berry is cut open it's skin and insides look very similar to a tomato. Full size berries are about the same size as cherry and/or grape tomatoes (maybe a few mm's smaller in diameter).

The flowers bloom from the bottom of the stems and the berries sprout from the top.

I've enclosed several closeup photos and one from a few feet away (with my front door in the background) to give access to "scale" the size of the plant.

When I first received the plant this past fall I took it to a local nursery and they were unable to identify.

Thumbnail by flwrchld70
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Clinton, MS

May 16, 2009
2:33 PM

Post #6555956

I'm sorry that the above message said there were several photos - it was a copy/paste to my county extension office and I thought I had edited properly. At any rate, I will enclose the "scale" photo so that you all may get a better idea of the size of the plant.

Thumbnail by flwrchld70
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 16, 2009
2:57 PM

Post #6556026

Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum). It's poisonous (don't eat it) and can be invasive in warm climates.
Midway City, CA

May 16, 2009
3:01 PM

Post #6556040

Just a quick, offhand guess, without comparing photos...
The Solanum genus contains a lot of plants that have berries that cycle through strikingly different colors, such as Solanum dulcamara, and I remember seeing one of those species in New York, so that might be a good starting point for search.
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 16, 2009
3:54 PM

Post #6556209

Definitely a Solanum of some sort, S. pseudocapsicum sounds like a good possibility. S. dulcamara has purple flowers so it can't be that one.
Clinton, MS

May 16, 2009
3:58 PM

Post #6556220

Thank you both. I'd actually found the Jerusalem Cherry plant in my searches but most of the images never matched up.

At least now I know not to eat the "tomato-like" fruit, which I wouldn't have without first finding out what sort of plant I have.

Anyway, I did another search for the Jerusalem Cherry and sure enough, there it was. Yes, you are right about how aggressive it is in a warm climate. I'm in Central Mississippi and the extreme humid weather here seems to have really made this plant explode in just the past month. Again, Thank you!!

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