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Tomato tree

Graeme Young g.young at botn.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Apr 2 14:13:21 EST 1996


In article <4jni61$ivg at news1.inlink.com>,
   raiar at inlink.com (Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.) wrote:
><sjohnson at biosci.mbp.missouri.edu> wrote:
>
>>	I recently saw an ad. for the amazing New Zealand tomato tree.  Has 
>>anyone heard of it, or is it just a crock?
>
>Oh, it exists, not a bad price either.  Trouble is, they sure don't
>taste like tomatoes, and they do freeze out in the winter in such
>climates.
>
>I tried to find the botanical name to no avail.
>
>
>
The plant given the common name of "tree tomato" is Cyphomandra betacea 
(family Solanaceas) one of 30 species from tropical America especially the 
Northern Andes and Southern Brazil. It has been in cultivation in the warmer 
areas of New Zealand for many years and is sold over the winter months as 
"tamarillo". It has a high vitamin C content and a soft dark red flesh which 
is usually scoped out of the skin and often mixed with a little sugar as it 
has a high acidity level. There are several cultivars available with various 
skin colours, fruit sizes, and acidity levels. The wild form has fruit about 
the sizeof a hens egg, but in culivation the fruit are often twice that size. 
The plant is frost tender (-2C), but easily propagated from softwood cuttings 
in autum.
Graeme Young



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