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Cow's Udder, Nipple Fruit, Mackaw Bush

Solanum mammosum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solanum (so-LAN-num) (Info)
Species: mammosum (mam-OH-sum) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Wilmington, Delaware

Brooksville, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Honolulu, Hawaii

Pepeekeo, Hawaii

Pukalani, Hawaii

Hulbert, Oklahoma

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 1, 2013, Humuhumu85 from Honolulu, HI wrote:

I have a shrub of this about 8 feet tall. I recently trimmed some branches which had the ornamental fruits on it. I trimmed the branches just above a side shoot so the side shoot could continue to grow. About 8 of ten have since died and the stalks are drying up. Is it possible this plant can't close it's trimming wound and its drying out through there? I anyone any suggestions like taring the end or something please let me know.


On Oct 4, 2007, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is the first year I grew these. My plants had few thorns - in fact, I'd be hard pressed to recall ANY thorns - lots of blooms but only one fruit out of about 10 plants. I planted them out in full sun in early summer and they grew and bloomed GREAT - over 6' tall now, but out of all those plants and blooms I only had one fruit hold. I never really saw anything pollinating the flowers. I don't know what the natural pollinator for this plant is, but apparently I don't have it here. I've grown other Solanum plants with great success, so I'm not sure why these didn't produce more fruits.

Update: I double checked and my plants HAVE NO THORNS on them anywhere - don't know why they would be different than what others have, but apparently they are.


On May 15, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Indeed a weird one, and not one to touch due to it's
spines / thorns.

I bought a small 4" plant and nearly forgot about it.
A good douse of water and it bounced right back,
ready to poke me with the thorns.

I'll report back at the end of summer with more details
as it grows.


On Nov 30, 2003, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The picture I posted was from a plant I gave a fellow gardener who lives near me. He planted his plant outside about a month before I did and his plant gave flowers & fruits. My plants flowered profusely but no fruits were seen. I have dug up all 6 plants and they are in my greenhouse. If I can "baby" them through the winter, I will plant them outside in May after last frost. If they do not survive (my greenhouse is kept at 60 degrees at night and up to 85 in the daytime), I will start them from seeds once more & plant outside and fertilize with 20-20-20.