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Solanum muricatum (Pepino dulce)

Solanum muricatum (Pepino dulce)


Solanum muricatum is a species of evergreen shrub native to South America and grown for its sweet edible fruit.


It is known as pepino dulce ("sweet cucumber" in English, in order to differentiate it from cucumber which is also called "pepino" in Spanish) or simply pepino; the latter is also used for similar species such as "S. mucronatum" (which actually seems to belong in the related genus Lycianthes). The pepino dulce fruit resembles a melon (Cucumis melo) in color, and its flavor recalls a succulent mixture of honeydew and cucumber, and thus it is also sometimes called pepino melon or melon pear. Another common name, tree melon, is more often used for the papaya (Carica papaya) though the pepino dulce plant generally does not look much like a tree; it looks more like a ground cover, trailing plant. The present species is, however, a close relative of other nightshades cultivated for their fruit, including the tomato (S. lycopersicum) and the eggplant/aubergine (S. melongena), which its own fruit closely resembles.


supplied as small rooted plant 20 to 30cm high


photo: R. Hille CC 3.0

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