Some modern treatments, such as Jørgensen, P. M., M. Nee & S. G. Beck. (eds.) 2011. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia, have merged the genus Cyphomandra into Solanum. This treatment is gaining wider acceptance and so we have now (October 2014) transferred all Cyphomandra species to Solanun[
Cyphomandra artocarpophylla H.Winkl.
Cyphomandra bolivarensis Steyerm.
Cyphomandra hartwegii (Miers.) Walp.
Cyphomandra rojasiana Standl. & Steyerm.
Cyphomandra splendens Dunal
Cyphomandra tobagoensis Sandwith
Pionandra hartwegii Miers.
Common Name: Tomate de Monte
Solanum circinatum is a fast-growing, but short-lived evergreen, soft-wooded shrub or small tree reaching a height of around 5 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild and occasionally cultivated in Central and South America for its edible fruits, which are sold in local markets[
The unripe fruit is slightly toxic.
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most species in this genus also contain toxic alkaloids. Whilst these alkaloids can make the plant useful in treaing a range of medical conditions, they can also cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, salivation, drowsiness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weakness and respiratory depression[
Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
S. America - Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras.
An uncommon plant of tree-fall areas of the forest and at the edges of clearings in Panama[
]. Disturbed areas and forests from sea level to 2,000 metres.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Insects, Self
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of higher elevations in the moist tropics. Plants fruit best with cool temperatures in the growing season[
Succeeds in a sunny position in any well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a light fertile soil[
]. Dislikes drought[
]. Plants are very prone to wind damage[
Plants are probably insensitive to day-length[
A very fast growing plant, it starts to fruit within two years from seed and reaches peak production in 3 - 4 years[
]. Trees are, however, short-lived and start to degenerate after about 8 years[
Individual trees have a long period of continual flowering, often for periods of 12 months or more[
Plants usually ripe their fruit over a period of time, though pruning methods can be used to produce a peak time of fruiting[
This species could be a valuable source of gene material for qualities such as nematode resistance, root rot resistance, fragrance, flavour, colour and yield[
Plants have a shallow spreading root system and resent surface hoeing, they are best given a good mulch[
The leaves have a pungent smell[
Plants are subject to attacks by red spider mites.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Eaten out of hand, sweetened, or made into juice and jelly[
]. Resembling a tomato in flavour and size, it is used as a tomato substitute in cooking[
A decoction of the stems and leaves is used in the treatment of fevers[
The macerated leaves are useful for treating insect bites, cuts, wounds and inflammations[
The genus Cyphomandra contains the coumarin scopoletine[
The juice of the berry is used to paint designs on pottery. It is applied after firing and then exposed to smoke and gives a black colour. Many designs combine geometric patterns of black and white (from a slip of light clay) and represent the visual effects produced by Banisteriopsis[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 4 weeks at 15°c[
], within 2 weeks at 25°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of greenwood in a frame[