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Solanum pimpinellifolium - L.

Common Name Currant Tomato
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards All green parts of the plant are poisonous[19 , 76 ]. Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most plants in the family Solanaceae also contain poisonous alkaloids. Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[K ].
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range Original habitat is obscure, probably Western S. America as a cultivated form of L. Cerasiforme.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Solanum pimpinellifolium Currant Tomato

Forest & Kim Starr wikimedia.org
Solanum pimpinellifolium Currant Tomato
Forest & Kim Starr wikimedia.org

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Currant Tomato, Solanum pimpinellifolium, is a wild tomato species native to Ecuador and Peru. There are annual. biennial, and perennial varieties. Other common names are German Raising Tomato and Tomatillo. The branches are slender and initially erect, becoming procumbent or decumbent. The fruits are small, red, globose and edible. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried for later use. The seeds yield edible oil which can also be used in making soap. The fruits have medicinal uses as well. It can be used as first aid treatment for burns, scalds, and sunburn. It is also used in the treatment of rheumatism and headaches. Root decoction is ingested to relieve toothache.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Solanum pimpinellifolium is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. and are pollinated by Insects, Self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


Lycopersicon esculentum pimpinellifolium (Jusl.) Mill. Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium (L.) Mill. Lyco


Edible Uses

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use[1 , 105 , 183 ]. Sweet and delicious, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and is also used in savoury dishes as a vegetable[K ]. The red, globose fruit is rather small and fiddly, about 10 - 15mm in diameter, but it is produced in quite large bunches and is well worth the effort of picking[K ]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[46 , 61 ]. The seed is small and it would be very fiddly to utilize. It is only viable to use the seed as a source of oil if large quantities of the plants are being grown for their fruits and the seed is not wanted.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The pulped fruit is an extremely beneficial skin-wash for people with oily skin. Sliced fruits are a quick and easy first aid treatment for burns, scalds and sunburn[201 ]. A decoction of the root is ingested in the treatment of toothache[218 ]. The skin of tomato fruits is a good source of lycopine, a substance that has been shown to protect people from heart attacks. It seems to be more effective when it is cooked and so can be obtained from food products such as tomato ketchup and tinned tomatoes[246 ]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[7 ]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and severe headaches[7 ].

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The strong aroma of this plant is said to repel insects from nearby plants[7 , 18 , 20 ]. Other Uses A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Used in making soap[46 , 61 , 171 ]. See the notes above regarding utilization.

Cultivation details

Plants are not frost-hardy. They can be grown outdoors in Britain as a spring-sown annual started off under glass in the spring. In cool wet summers the total yields are likely to be low[K ]. Requires a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position. The plant has been introduced as a crop into the Galapagos, where it has shown a tendency to invade disturbed areas. It is of particular concern there due to possible hybridization with native Solanaceae[305 ]. There are some named varieties[183 ].


Seed - sow in situ The seedcoat may carry tomato mosaic virus. However, by sowing the seed 15mm deep the seedcoat will remain below the soil surface when the seed germinates and the disease will be inactivated[124 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Mantathur chin,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia, Andes, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Mexico, North America, Northeastern India, Peru, South America, USA.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

The plant has been introduced as a crop into the Galapagos, where it has shown a tendency to invade disturbed areas. It is of particular concern there due to possible hybridization with native Solanaceae[305 ].

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Solanum aethiopicumMock Tomato, Ethiopian nightshade20
Solanum ajanhuiriAjanhuiri20
Solanum americanumAmerican Nightshade, American black nightshade10
Solanum andigenumAndigena20
Solanum aviculareKangaroo Apple, New Zealand nightshade22
Solanum boreale 10
Solanum boyacense 10
Solanum cari 10
Solanum carolinenseHorse Nettle, Carolina horsenettle02
Solanum chauchaChaucha10
Solanum curtilobumRucki20
Solanum dulcamaraBittersweet. Bittersweet Nightshade, Climbing nightshade, Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade, Poisonous03
Solanum fendleriWild Potato, Fendler's horsenettle, Texan horsenettle32
Solanum jamesiiColorado Wild Potato, Wild potato20
Solanum juzepczukiiRucki20
Solanum kurzii 10
Solanum laciniatumKangaroo Apple22
Solanum linearifoliumMountain Kangaroo Apple20
Solanum liximitante 10
Solanum luteum 10
Solanum lycopersicumTomato, Garden Tomato53
Solanum lyratum 12
Solanum maglia 20
Solanum melongenaAubergine, Eggplant32
Solanum muricatumPepino40
Solanum nigrumBlack Nightshade, Common Nightshade, Poisonberry, Black Nightshade22
Solanum paniculatumJurubeba, Nightshade04
Solanum phurejaPhureja, Nightshade30
Solanum piliferum 20


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Solanum pimpinellifolium  
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