Although it looks much like a medium-sized tomato, the tree tomato is not a true tomato. Tasting somewhat like a tomato, it is usually eaten with sugar or boiled to make a popular and refreshing drink.
An extremely fast growing shrub to 20ft. Flowers are self-pollinating, and tree tomatoes may bear from seed in just over a year.
Although it does better in climates where the temperature stays above 50F, the tree tomato is subtropical and will bear fruit in cooler climates. Hardy to 25F.
Requires lots of water and good drainage--standing water will kill the plant in just a few days. Makes and excellent container plant in cold climates.
Propagation is usually by seed, but grafting is also possible. Seeds can sprout quickly and seedlings usually show vigorous growth.
Uses are similar to common tomato. Eaten fresh and often boiled or pureed to flavor drinks.
Native to the Andes mountains of Peru and Chile. Is now grown commercially in California an New Zealand.