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Kangaroo Apple Rainforest Type Solanum Aviculare Seeds
Packet of 200+ home grown seeds!
Famous all over the world this fella is normally found all up the southern and eastern sides of Australia, Papua New Guinea, SE Asia, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Kermadecs and New Zealand.
It has been introduced commercially cultivated and studied as a medicinal crop in India, Egypt, Russia, and many other countries since way back in the early 60’s.
The main commercial interest is due to the large amounts of steroids produced in the plant matter and especially the new growth.
Traditionally these steroidal components were used by Australian Aboriginals as a contraceptive, and that is where the majority of research lies today.
The plant itself is quite pretty and very easy to grow, and that has lead to a booming nursery trade, not just here, but overseas too.
In some places it has even become a bit weedy so keep an eye on it, make sure they don’t get away from you.
The fruit are considered “edible” by most folks, but MUST only be eaten when fully ripe and soft, having turned orange to red in colour.
They must must never be eaten by pregnant women, and only ever in an emergency, and even then only in moderation.
The taste is good, kinda like a sweet yet quite spicy tamarillo.
I like them.
The fully ripe fruit can be dried and stored for later and make a decent garnish or addition to porridge or grain mash.
Unripe, green or still firm fruit contain toxic alkaloids and often cause a strong burning sensation in the throat which lasts for ages and is really not a lot of fun.
Very unsettling, and something you only really want to experience the once…
I consider them an emergency food, not really something for the fruit bowl or part of the regular diet, but due to the beauty and ease of growth they are well worth having in the collection.
The parrots love them as do the bees and apart from the odd aphid they never really have insect issues.
As they are relatively insect pest free I have it on the list as a potential insecticide or bug spray, but at this stage I haven’t got around to running any trials.
They grow into a large bush a couple meters wide and high if left to their own devices, but here at home I just hack the top off with a cane knife at about a meter, then again at a meter and a half when they reshoot.
They get nice and dense then, staying a manageable size and get way more flowers and fruit.
Lovely as an ornamental.
Traditionally known as gunyang, koonyang, mayakitch, meakitch, mookitch, New Zealand nightshade, nightshade, poroporo, poroporo and often misidentified as Solanum laciniatum which is very visually similar but has bigger seeds and lighter coloured fruit.
This plant was also once known by the synonyms Solanum aviculare var. acutifolium, Solanum aviculare var. aviculare, Solanum aviculare var. brisbanense, Solanum aviculare var. grandiflorum, Solanum aviculare var. grandifolium, Solanum aviculare var. hybridum, Solanum aviculare var. patulum, Solanum aviculare var. typicum, Solanum brisbanense, but we just call it Kangaroo Apple, as do most folks here in Australia.
Grown by me and the Mrs organically, no chems, no nasties, no problems!!!