The Tamarillo or Tree Tomato (Solanum betaceum syn. Cyphomandra betacea) belongs to the Solanaceae family which includes among others the capsicum, tomato, potato and tobacco. It is native to the warm temperate highlands of Argentina and Bolivia, but is now grown in many warm temperate and subtropical areas of the world. New Zealand, Israel and Southern California are some of the few places where it is grown commercially for the fruit. In colder regions of Australia plants can be successfully grown in pots or the ground, provided they are protected from frosts.
Erect, branching, and soft wooded, this small evergreen tree reaches three metres in height which makes it ideally suited to the home garden. The leaves are large and softly hairy and exude an unpleasant scent when crushed or bruised. The size and shape of a hen's egg, the long stalked, hanging red, orange or yellow elongated fruit, are borne either singly or in small clusters of up to four. The yellow fruit has the sweeter flavour.
- Cultivation & Propagation
- Pests and Diseases
- Fruit Use