The Tamarillo (Cyphomandra betacea) is the "Tree Tomato". Like its cousins of the closely-related Lycopersicon genus (the ordinary common tomato), the egg-size fruit makes good eating, and is typically made into jams or conserve, although it is recommended that the skin and seeds are removed before cooking. It therefore makes either a fruiting shrub or a superb foliage plant! It is easily grown from seed and makes a pleasing contrast to the more typical foliage of cannas, gingers and bananas. Easily grown from seed, the roots of this plant are quite tough surviving moderate frosts, and in relatively mild areas usually re-grow from the base. Otherwise grow in a large container and overwinter frost free.
Surface sow the seeds on sterile compost in a heated propagator in spring. Water the newly germinated sparingly at first as the stems are prone to rot if over-watered. This can also happen to more mature plants growing in the ground. If watering is withheld the plant will usually recover. Pot on into small pots and later into large pots or open ground in warm areas.
Common name:Cyphomandra betacea, Solanum betaceum
Classification:Half hardy perennial
Seeds / gram:220 (Approx)