Thursday, 20 November 2008

Bush Foods - Solanum centrale

I've recently potted up the Bush Tomato Solanum centrale seedlings as they have germinated well after using the smoke disc I bought when I ordered the seeds.

The seedlings look just like other Tomatoes
until the second leaves grow
then you can see that they become quite hairy.


Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale)
Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale) also called Desert raisin or Desert tomato. This species are native to central Australia in areas of low rainfall (150 to 300 mm).
Other species such as S. chippendalei and S. ellipticum also produce edible fruit and are of interest to the native foods industry.

Aboriginal Names: Akatjera (Arrente), Kampurarrpa (Pitjantjatjara), Kati Kati (Anangu Uluru, NT).

Solanum centrale is a small shrub to 30 -50 cm that suckers and has spines on its branches. Their star-shaped purple flowers are followed by sticky 1cm frit that change colour as they ripen, form green/white to yellow. Fruit are brown with a raisin-like appearance when ripe and ready for picking.

Green or unripe fruits are toxic and should not be eaten. Therefore this plant is not recommended for use in school gardens or where there are young children around.This bushfood is widely used for sauces, and chutneys & relishes; soups marinades, stews and casseroles.
It has a flavour that is an intense, earthy-tomato and caramel flavour of great piquancy and pungency.

Sold for seed as dried fruit that contain between 30-100 seeds, the packs also include instructions for germination and harvesting.


Bush tomato seeds respond well to smoke treatment.

More info on Bush Tomatoes:
CSIRO
PIRSA Factsheet PDF

Seeds purchased from:
Outback Chef

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