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|
|Other Common Names:||Desert Raisin|
|Plant Type:||Small shrub|
|Height:||0.1 ~ 0.5 metres|
|Width:||0.1 ~ 0.3 metres|
|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|
|Growth Habit:||Evergreen, Open foliage|
|Soil Moisture:||Dry, Well-drained|
|Frost Tolerance:||Tolerates light frost|
|Special Uses:||Edible, Fast growing|
|Attracts Wildlife:||Bees, Butterflies, Other insects|
Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for this plant.