Solanum centrale – Kutjera

This bush food plant is native to arid regions of Australia, and grows to a small shrub with pale yellow-green leaves. The bush produces purple flowers from late summer to spring, followed by the edible small fruits, which are yellow when ripe and dry to brown on the bush, resembling raisins. The fruits are rich in Vitamin C and have a flavour described as similar to tamarillo and caramel. Green or unripe fruits are toxic.
The plant fruits well in the year after fire or abundant rains. The plant can also regrow from dormant root stock after periods of drought. Main plant produces underground suckers. Seed will benefit greatly from smoke treatment for germination. The plant needs very little water.

Picture provided by Philip Clarke, from his new book Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use: Journeys of an Australian Anthropologist

Scientific Name:Solanum centrale
Common Name:Kutjera
Other Common Names:Desert Raisin
Plant Type:Small shrub
Height:0.1 ~ 0.5 metres
Width:0.1 ~ 0.3 metres
Flower Colour:Purple
Flowering Time:Spring, Summer, Autumn
Ph Level:Acid, Neutral
Soil Type:Sandy, Sandy loam, Poor soil
Plant Environment:Low maintenance garden, Drought resistant
Climate Zone:Warm temperate, Mediterranean, Semi-arid, Arid
Light:Sunny, Light shade
Planting Season:Spring
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Open foliage
Soil Moisture:Dry, Well-drained
Propagation Method:Seed
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates light frost
Special Uses:Edible, Fast growing
Attracts Wildlife:Bees, Butterflies, Other insects



Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants