Anyone growing Brazilian Sunberry (Solanum Oocarpum)? Wondering how to pollinate the flowers. Any other Solanum growers here?

I picked up a few Brazilian sunberry (Solanum oocarpum) after watching the Weird Explorer video on it. it has grown pretty well in a 5 gallon container. Both are now flowering. I am trying to figure out how to pollinate the flowers and if there are male flowers vs female flowers? Currently, I am cupping one hand under the flowers and gently tapping the flower which releases pollen. Then using a small paint brush, I am transferring pollen between flowers and plants. Anyone here either growing this specific Solanum or others?


Wow so thorny, do many solanum have thorns?

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I would guese most of them.
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members of the solanum genus are self-pollinating, if I remember correctly.

thatd be my suspicion too, though not necessarily a hard and fast rule. Im growing some oddball Solanums from raindance seeds this year. I just potted up my lulo de paramo and S. diploconos seedlings last night

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Might be fun to do some cross pollination. The genus is pretty genetically plastic. Could find some interesting offspring. Lots of opportunity for some unique genetic profiles.

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I’m growing Tlanoxtle and Dwarf Tamarillo this year and trying to over winter them, and I would like to have a go at Sunberry some time. I also started some Bolivian tree tomato (Cymphomandra uniloba) but they all damped off.

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That sunberry looks so much like horse nettle. Too bad those aren’t delicious, or non-poisonous! If they were, Id have a big crop to harvest. Its probably a tall order from a breeding perspective, but a wide cross that made a hardy edible Solanum would be amazing.

The other oddball Solanum Im trying this year is tzimbalo. I tried a couple of others but they didn’t sprout

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I started those and three other Solanum seeds this spring and 100% damped off as well. Meanwhile the tomatoes and other normal garden starts in the same soil and trays look happy. I assume something in my soil doesn’t agree with them, if I try again I’ll use a sterile mix.

Mine started to sprout and then immediately wilted. Looked like a soil-borne pathogen to me.

hmmm, maybe soaking them in hydrogen peroxide or baking soda beforehand would help? I think in my case they never germinated. the ones that did are looking healthy, but that was less than 1/3 of what I sowed

I’ve been having issues with a few solanums too, mainly tree tomatoes (a dwarf and a amber variety). They just haven’t germinated. I talked to someone at a plant sale selling some seedlings, and he said they can take a very long time to sprout, so I’ve just be keep the soil damp and hoping. I’ve had bad luck overall with solanums in general.

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I’ve started very old tomato seeds a few times and had them take a long time. Also had reduced overall germination. Most Solanums are pretty weedy so they tend towards pretty quick germination. Im not sure what would account for slow germination but I think rotting is also a danger when the seeds sit in damp soil for a long time

Check out litchi tomato and five-minute plant :slight_smile:

I wonder how wide of a cross it might actually be. They might be in the same section. Wikipedia says horse-nettle is in the eggplant section of Solanum.

I’ve got two little plants myself, one of which just put out some flower buds. I really liked pepino dulce the time I had it, so I’m curious what these are like.

Does anyone have any idea what Solanum oocarpum might be related to?

Holy cow that thing is vicious. Chopped down my Pygmy date palm because I kept getting stabbed, deeeep haha

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I grew some litchi tomatoes last year. They were vigorous, unbothered by pests, and bloomed and fruited early and heavily. The fruits were nice, if a little boring. Essentially, smallish very mild red blueberries. And no birds dared steal them. Really hardy too, the biggest one very nearly survived the whole winter here unprotected despite several dips into the upper teens.

I plan to grow it again sometime, though not this year.

On the subject of hardiness, one of my Nicotania glauca plants made it through the winter, with about half of the above-ground stem surviving. It was sheltered by a Eucalyptus camphora which I think helped a lot, because all the other N. glauca plants died. All of my Nicotiana sylvestris are coming back from the roots, which is nice, I enjoyed them more than N. glauca.

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