Solanum muricatum seeds, Pepino

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Solanum muricatum
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Solanum muricatum seeds, viable

Solanum muricatum pepino is a species of evergreen shrub also known by other names such as, Pelpino, Melon shrub, Pepino Dulce and Melon Pear. The plant synonyms include Solanum quatamalense, Solanum scarbrum, Solanum hebephorum, Solanum longifolium, Solanum saccianum, Solanum melaniferum and Solanum pendunculatum. The plant belongs to a group of species in the Solanaceae family and Muricatum genus. The history of this Pepino traces back to temperate regions of Chile, Peru and Colombia.

Solanum muricatum pelpino is an evergreen woody plant having several stems which protrude near its base. The plant grows to 1m by 1 m with a sprawling habit and it is known for its ground cover and other times it grows on fence or trellis. The Pelpino has bright green leaves, less covered with hairs and it is in leaf the whole year. The leaves can also take many forms; some are divided into leaflets while others are lobed or entire. The flowers are violet-purple, blue or white, similar to unopen potato flowers. The flowers occur from around August to October and the seeds ripen from September to November. The fruits vary in size, shape as well as colours. The plants also have both male and female and it reproduces through insect pollination.

Solanum muricatum is an ideal choice for use as a flavor due to its juicy sweet and aromatic fruits resembling the honeydew melon. The fruit of pelpino also contains vitamin C, carbohydrates and water making it nutritious. The fruit is also common in markets of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador sold for its edible fruit. The plant has also been grown commercially in turkey, Mauritius, New Zealand and Chile.

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