Tomato, Tree (Cyphomandra betacea), packet of 5 seeds, organic
Family: Nightshade (Solanaceae)
Zones 9 to 12 or greenhouse culture
(Red Fruited Tree Tomato, Tamarillo, Tomate de Arbol) Subtropical evergreen perennial shrub to small tree, native to the Andes where it grows at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. The tree is most comfortable at temperatures above 50 degrees F but able to withstand a quick frost down to 28 degrees F. Tamarillos are fast growing and short-lived. They are shallow-rooted and their wood is quite brittle, so they do best when protected from wind. Their branches need support when the fruit weighs heavy. This curious tree can be grown in a container in a greenhouse or on a sunny porch, and is a reasonable choice for outdoor culture in S. Cal, the Gulf Coast and FL. The tasty red fruits are high in vitamin A, B6, C, E and iron. Tamarillos prefer part sun and a thin surface mulch to keep the soil always a bit moist. The fruits are pendulous and as large as a paste tomato. They taste to me like a combination between kiwi and tomato. They are quite good. Sow the seeds in warm soil exactly as you would tomato seeds. Germination rapid and reliable. Work up in successively larger pots. Protect from strong winds, intense sunlight and frost. Space trees 10 feet apart.
packet of 5 seeds, certified organically grown