Potato Tree
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Potato Tree
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Potato tree, Giant Star Potato Tree
Botanical name: Solanum grandiflorum    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Solanum macranthum Dunal.

Native to Brazil, Potato tree is a small tree widely cultivated in the tropics. It is not actually potato, but belongs to the potato family. This plant grows quickly into a bushy tree of 15 feet in height and 15' wide. Grown for its ornamental purpose. The leaves are large, lobed and prickly. Flowers are fragrant and change their color from white to pink to lavender. It requires a rich soil for good growth. Suited for planting singly. Propagated by seeds. The Solanum family is very large, consisting of nearly 1500 species ranging from vegetables like the potato and aubergine, to ornamental shrubs and climbers, plus a number of weeds. Some, as their common name Nightshade suggests, are toxic and need careful handling.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Garden of Five Senses, Delhi & Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

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