Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Tree tomatoes, photo courtesy of Quentin Bacon/StockFood Creative/Getty Images
Tree tomatoes, photo courtesy of Quentin Bacon/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

Click to Enlarge

Zones 14-24, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water

Tree Tomato, Tamarillo

Evergreen, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Semi-evergreen

Treelike Andean native knownbotanically as Solanum betaceum(Cyphomandra betaceae).Fast growth to 10–18 ft. talland two-thirds as wide. Pointedoval, 4–10-in.-long leaves; smallpinkish flowers in summer andfall. In winter, bears egg-shaped,2–3-in.-long red fruit (there arealso yellow varieties). Fruit hasacid flavor somewhat like thatof tomato—if you find it too tart,try stewing it with a little sugar.

Grow from seed like tomato.Harvest fruit when it is fully colored;pluck from tree by snappingoff, leaving stem attached.Bears on new growth. In latewinter, prune back branchesthat have fruited by one-fourthto one-third (this will preventfruit from developing ever fartherout from center of plant).Control sucking insects. Frostsensitive; give overhead protectionin Zones 14, 15, 18–21.Fruiting is more reliable inwarmer part of range.

You Might Also Like...

Begonia, Shrublike

This large class is marked by multiple stems that are soft and green rather than bamboo-like.They are ...

Ochna serrulata

This South African shrub grows slowly to 4–8 ft. tall and wide. Oblong leaves are leathery, fine...

Polianthes tuberosa

Native to Mexico. Grown for the heady, powerfully sweet fragrance of its flowers. Each rhizome (actual...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More