Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

SOLANUM integrifolium

Image of Solanum integrifolium

Jesse Saylor

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

SOLANUM integrifolium

Plant Common Name

Chinese Scarlet Eggplant, Pumpkin Tree, Turkish Eggplant, Turkish Orange Eggplant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

At first glance, you'd think you're staring at an eggplant since there's purplish brown stems and large dull green leaves. Pumpkin tree differs in having many short thorns on its stems. The small white flowers that look like stars later develop into small tomato-like fruits, ranging in color from gold to orange and orange-red when fully ripe. These fruits are grooved, resembling little gourds or pumpkins. Once fall frosts kill the plant, these fruits persist on the dark colored stems, looking decorative, often used and sold in florist shops.

Grow pumpkin tree in a full to partial sun exposure in a moist, fertile but well-draining soil. It grows well in containers, but consider staking the plant to prevent it from toppling over in a rain or breeze. It is especially ornamental near a walkway or patio where the leaves and thorny, dark stems can be fully seen and cautiously touched if one dares, as well as to see the developing tiny "pumpkin" fruits. These fruits are pungent in flavor and edible, often used in Southeast Asian cuisines.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Middle Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Orange, Gold, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Burgundy, Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Feature Plant, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes