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Lychee tomato - Solanum sisymbriifolium

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  • Lychee tomato - Solanum sisymbriifolium

    I was a bit late sowing these this year, I don't think they will get very big but nice to see flowers and the start of some fruit setting. I'd like to try and overwinter a couple of plants to give them an earlier start next year. I've left them in pots as I couldn't make up my mind where to plant them to avoid their thorns!

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    Very pretty bright white blooms.
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    Spikes surrounding a baby fruit that's forming
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  • #2
    There is something very funny going on with mine. The early flowers were pure white, just like yours, but lately they have been pale blue. Mine are just slightly ahead of yours. Must take a few photos.

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    • #3
      Just taken a couple of photos of mine.

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      • #4
        I'm pretty sure mine had a very pale mauve/blue tinge to them a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure if I took any pictures then, I'll have a look through and see. The leaves in the first picture seem slightly different from the ones I have though?

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        • #5
          Interesting. I can also see a difference in the calyx which encloses the fruit too. All my plants look the same, but I am only growing a few. There are no recognised different varieties of S Sisymbriifolium, but there may well be different types nevertheless. I bought my seeds in Austria. Have just googled the images on www and there are even more differences than we are seeing.

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          • #6
            According to wikipedia they are a little frost tolerant. In theory they could survive a mild winter in a greenhouse with double protection, perhaps an inner plastic or fleece tent inside the greenhouse? Should have started earlier and planted out earlier too. Next time ................. They are pretty slow to ripen unfortunately and there will not be masses of fruit either. The flowers take a long time to change over to fruit, just hope we will be seeing mature red fruit before the end of the season. These are my little greenhouse exotic plants for this year, but I get the feeling that they will be much less productive than say ground cherries for example.

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            • #7
              I had one overwinter outside last time I grew them, just I got to hate being scratched each time I passed I dug the plant up before harvest time!
              With a younger plant I would think green house or polytunnel to overwinter would work well, maybe a little fleece for the cold nights. If outdoors in a sheltered spot with a wrap of straw etc might work well too. Though it doesn't normally get as cold here as with you.

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              • #8
                Some more pictures
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                • #9
                  Getting there. Unfortunately they stopped setting fruit although still flowering profusely, the overall harvest will be light.

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                  • #10
                    I think mine aren't producing fruits either, though like you say an abundance of flowers. Lovely to see the ripe berries, mine I think are someway off yet.
                    I was thinking about your plants the other day as when I past mine many of the flowers had a bluey tinge to them very pretty.

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                    • #11
                      When they get fully ripe, the calyx dries and folds backwards, which is a blessing because the plant is a bit thorny and scratchy. But this feature means that harvesting is no problem at all

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                      • #12
                        Cut open, seeds harvested (no gel around them) and then the first taste! Oh yes! You can taste why the French call them Morelle de Balbil - morello cherry is the flavour that comes to the fore, and the size is similar to cherries too, but a little sweeter than morelloes.

                        And the low setting has been solved too, They need their flowers shaking and it now happens quite reliably. These are grown in the greenhouse, presumably outside where they might get 'tripped' by insects a bit more, low fruit set is not a problem.

                        Hopefully the later set fruits will still ripen. And we will see whether the plants can be overwintered successfully later this year.

                        How are yours Jayb?

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                        • #13
                          They look great Galina, amazing red colour. Thanks for the tip about needing a hand with pollinating.
                          I find the thorns hateful!
                          I'm still waiting for the first one to ripen, hopefully soon

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                          • #14
                            Mine are still alive, but the leaves are getting yellow. I had to tie them up because one of them got me every time I went there and they are in the greenhouse that has the most lambs lettuce growing, so I will be visiting frequently. I wonder whether they stand a chance overwintering.

                            How did yours fare in the end? Hope you still had ripe berries.

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                            • #15

                              They have done ok, the plants never got very big, mainly due to me being lax potting them on. I don't think I've changed my opinion, they taste ok but way too much seed to flesh. For me no wow and certainly not the 'Oh My' when eating cherry tomatoes. Plus they are savage! I've got the smaller ones tucked in at the back of the greenhouse, which reminds me they have had no water in ages!!! I think they have a good chance of overwintering in the GH, though whether we get the really low temperatures some have been predicting this winter, will likely make all the difference.

                              Not sure if mine still have leaves will check later.

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