Solanum pseudocapsicum from Eddie in SC

This is probably a long shot, but I thought I would reach out to see if you could help identify the following plant. I was helping a friend with a landscaping job last Saturday, July 3rd in Toccoa, GA, when I noticed a unique plant growing beside the brick foundation along the corner of the house and asked the homeowner about it. The homeowner is 90 years old and she said it was an old timey plant she got years ago from her mother. She could not remember the name of it, but I assume it is an heirloom plant due to her age and the fact the she got it from her mother. It was only about 3 feet high and had dark green leaves with dime/nickel sized dark green round ‘fruit’. The ripened ‘fruit’ was orange/red in color. One of the attached pictures has some of the ‘fruit’ sitting beside a quarter for scale. She said it was easy to start a new plant if you take one of the seeds from inside the round ‘fruit’ casing and plant it in dirt. I hope you can help identify the plant or maybe point me in the right direction to get an ID for it. Note: Please ignore the holly bush clippings mixed in with the plant. : )

Hi Eddie,

This plant is still widely grown, but more often as a house plant. It is called Jerusalem cherry, Solanum pseudocapsicum, and it is  grown as an ornamental, but the fruits are poisonous so not edible despite the name.  Also, it is a South American plant. Common names can be deceiving! It is related to other toxic nightshade plants. You can find more about it here:


Dr. Steven Hill, botanist, SCNPS

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