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Plantidote of the Day 2012-10-08

twig's picture

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Mystery tree

A multi-trunk, 5' to 6' tall tree in bloom right now in Zone 10. The flowers look to me like members of the solanum (nightshade -- potato, eggplant, etc.) family. The flowers are about the same size as a potato vine, maybe a little bigger. But as a tree? Hmmmm, maybe not. Anyway, below the fold, you'll find a second shot with leaves that may help with identification. Also too, both images can be enlarged by clicking on them. And that's all the help you're getting from me, because I'm out of clues.

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Yep, twig, that is a Solanum. Either Solanum cripsum or Solanum marcanthum.
It's starts as a vine but becomes woody enough to resemble a shrub or sometimes a tree.

I take a vining specimen and braid the vines to form a trunk and then stake it and prune to create a standard ( single trunk).
So easy and fast.

Isn't that a great color?

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Braiding vines, what a great idea. I forgot to mention in the story, this little vine/tree is in bloom all year round. And you are right, the color is just extraordinary.

I'll do some looking around and update the story shortly. Thanks for the ID, though. We couldn't do this without you.

NWLuna's picture
Submitted by NWLuna on

Thanks for the tip about braiding young, flexible plant shoots so they will become standards. I must try that.

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Before there were medical colleges for women...any woman who knew her pantry of herbs and roots and was skilled at making potions, that seemed to have magic healing powers was known about and watched carefully. She would be the one treating and acted as the local doctor.
So naturally, the powerful ( men) figured she must be possessed... right?
Yeah,makes sense. How else would a lowly woman cause the effects that people claim?
She must be a witch...
Given that this IS the season... celebrate your inner witch and brew a tea from your rose hips.

Thanks, Plantidote writers for keeping us entertained!
Some of those links you had a few days ago are panning out. I like the garden planner web site. very cool.