Shrub or small tree without spines. Leaves simple, entire or lobed, stalked. Flower clusters axillary, simple or branched. Flowers bisexual, regular. Calyx 5-lobed. Corolla 5-lobed, star-like, pink to purple. Stamens mostly 5, the filaments free or united. Ovary of 2 chambers. Fruit a spherical to ovoid or oblong, deep red berry containing many flattened seeds. [Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Sendt., C. crassicaulis (Ortega) Kuntze]
Formerly placed in the genus Cyphomandra, which was long known to be a genus dubiously distinct from Solanum.
Cultivated in tropical America, Asia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Australia for the edible fruits eaten raw, in salads or stewed.Australian plantations are in subtropical areas. Unripe fruits are slightly toxic. An occasional garden escape is known in subtropical areas of E Qld and NE NSW in rainforest.
Cultivated in Peru since antiquity but now widely grown elsewhere.
McDonald Slack (1975), Bohs (1994, 1995).
Source: (2002). Solanaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.