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PlantFiles: Fire-and-Ice Plant, Litchi Tomato, Morelle de Balbis, Sticky Nightshade
Solanum sisymbriifolium

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solanum (so-LAN-num) (Info)
Species: sisymbriifolium

Synonym:Solanum sisymbrifolium

One vendor has this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Light Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive VineWorld On Dec 27, 2012, VineWorld from Syracuse, UT (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant requires two separate plants to achieve fruiting, i.e. it's self-infertile. The fruit itself is an edible red berry that is covered in a spiny husk that breaks itself apart while the fruit is ripening. It is much like a tomatillo (but with big, sharp spines!)

Solanum sisymbriifolium is an annual or perennial erect, rhizomatous herb about 1 metre in height. The stem and branches are viscid, hairy, and armed with flat, orange-yellow spines up to 15mm in length. The ovate to lanceolate leaves are borne on petioles 1-6cm long and are pubescent both above and below with stellate and glandular hairs. The leaves are pinnately divided into 4-6 coarse lobes and may be up to 40cm long and 25cm wide. Inflorescences emerge from the foliage and are internodal, unbranched racemes composed of 1-10 perfect or staminate flowers. The 5-parted flowers are white, light blue, or mauve, about 3cm in diameter, and are subtended by a hairy calyx 5-6mm long. Erect, converging anthers are 8-10mm long, and ovary is puberulent with a style 1cm long. Red, succulent, globular berries are 12-20mm in diameter with pale yellow seeds 2.9-3.2mm long (Bean, 2006; D'arcy, 1974; Radford et al., 1968).

This plant is most well known for its ability as a trap crop for potato cyst nematodes (PCN). It stimulates the hatching of PCN juveniles yet is completely resistant to them, it has been known to reduce PCN populations by 50-80%.

When planted in the field, Solanum sisymbriifolium germinates in 2-4 weeks. It may grow slowly for the first 4-6 weeks, but growth following that period can be vigorous (PCN Control Group, 2004).

I will add more about my experiences in 2013 as I grow them.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Plant grows to 4-5' and gets large white flowers, summer- frost, followed by clustered, round red fruits which, with the white blooms and thorns that cover the plant at the same time, make it a striking plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Syracuse, Utah

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