Solanum Giganteum (healingleaf tree / geneesblaarboom) seed

2 seeds

This species is an attractive garden subject, mainly because of the clusters of bright red fruit. It can be used as a background plant in herbaceous borders; also as part of a hedge where it can be the focal point behind the tangle of thorny creepers or shrubs that form the bulk and body of the hedge. Seeds germinate easily when cleaned out of the fruit. Seedlings grow rapidly and the plant should be fruiting in the second year.

S. giganteum is a known medicinal plant, as indicated by its Afrikaans and English standardized common names. According to Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962), the leaves were formerly used as a dressing for festering, open sores: the woolly undersurface being applied to cleanse the lesion and the smooth upper surface to heal it. The early Cape settlers also used an ointment (with fat) of the fresh juice of the berry and leaf for a similar purpose. Hutchings et al. (1996) record that the fruit is used for throat ulcers by the Zulu, Xhosa and Mfengu. Various chemical constituents typical of the Solanaceae have been isolated from this species e.g. solasodine from the fruit and leaves. The Xhosa and Mfengu use the berry to curdle milk.

R71.00

1 in stock

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Description

Much-branched shrub or small tree up to 6 m high. Branchlets with white, woolly hairs and stout, straight prickles up to 5 mm long.

Leaves elliptic, margin entire, large, up to 250 x 90 mm, softly textured, dark green, glabrescent, becoming hairless/smooth above, velvety whitish/silver below; pedicels reflexed in flower, erect in fruit; large bract-like leaves are often present in the axils of the stem leaves.

Flowers in many-flowered, branched, dense, terminal corymbs, faintly scented; corolla white, mauve to blue or purple, 15 mm in diameter, anthers yellow.

Additional information

Weight 0.100 kg
Dimensions 4 × 4 × 2 cm

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