What Is a Pumpkin Tree Plant?

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The fruit of the pumpkin tree plant is somewhat bitter
The fruit of the pumpkin tree plant is somewhat bitter (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Ina ? New York ? New York ?)

Solanum integrifolium, the pumpkin tree plant, is also known as pumpkin-on-a-stick or pumpkin bush. It is a decorative plant with fruit that resembles miniature pumpkins. It is used for Halloween decorations and in Asian dishes.

Solanum Plant Family

The pumpkin tree plant is a member of the solanum family, as are potatoes and eggplants. Sometimes used as a vegetable, the plant is also referred to as a Japanese golden egg, Chinese scarlet eggplant, Hmong eggplant or tomato eggplant.

Fruit

The interior of the pumpkin tree plant's fruit resembles that of peppers, with pithy flesh and loose seeds. The fruit has a bitter, peppery taste.

Use as a Decoration

The plant is used in bouquets with the fruits intact on the branches, or with the fruits removed and dried. They are used in autumn potpourri as well.

Description

The pumpkin tree plant is native to Asia and grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet tall. The plant has large leaves similar to those of tomato plants. It has a purple, thorny stem.

Planting

The pumpkin tree plant is grown from seeds. Sow seeds directly in the garden or cultivate indoors and transplant outdoors after the last frost of the season. Pumpkin tree plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

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