Crispum - Chilean Potato Tree.
The greater Solanum family is very large and diverse covering Annuals, shrubs and climbing plants, with many poisonous members some of which are evergreen and some deciduous. Family members come from all the continents of the World, but most come from either Australia, or South America. Included in the family is the evergreen, red-berried greenhouse pot plant, Capsicatum that used to be very fashionable. Other well-known family members are potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, tobacco and aubergines.
Solanum Crispum is a vigorous grower that is semi-evergreen and ideal for growing through trees, as it will easily reach 20 feet or more. Crispum not only puts on a colourful show with its flowers, but also gives leaf cover in mild Winters. The Chilean Potato Tree, as it is commonly known, is not very fussy about the type of soil as long as it is well drained and does not get too wet in the Autumn and Winter months.
The first varieties of Solanum Crispum generally on sale and widely available had purple/blue flowers with yellow centres, but now a new hybrid is available called “Jasminoides Album,” as it has the typical “Jasmine” like, white flowers. Small berries follow the flowers on Crispum, as with many other family members.