A species of wild tomato, Australia's passion berry plant (Solanum cleistogamum) produces a small, sweet and aromatic fruit. The plant grows wild in the central desert regions of Australia, but is now cultivated for commercial use.
The low-growing, prickly foliage is grey-green. The fruit hangs low to the ground and falls off the plant when ripe.
The passion berry plant grows in rocky or gravelly soil. Also known as "bush tomato," Solanum cleistogamum is a fast-growing shrub that fruits heavily after soaking rains.
The marble-sized yellow fruits taste similar to bananas. They are a favorite food of desert birds and reptiles.
Small, lilac-like flowers appear in late summer or early autumn.
Passion berry plants are a primary food source for emus, a large desert-dwelling bird. Emus eat the seeds and pass them undigested in their dung, ensuring the passion berry's survival. Feral goats, cows, horses and camels, however, fully digest the seeds, preventing propagation.
- Outback Pride
- Absolute Astronomy
passion berry, bush tomato, Australian wild tomato
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