- "Sunberry", "Wonderberry" and variant spellings redirect here. These names are also used for a related plant that may be highly poisonous; see below for details.
|Flowers and unripe fruit of Solanum retroflexum|
Solanum × burbankii Bitter
Solanum retroflexum, commonly known as Wonderberry or Sunberry, is a historic heirloom fruiting shrub. Both common names are also used for the sometimes poisonous European Black Nightshade (S. nigrum) in some places, particularly where the latter species has been introduced, so care must be taken to distinguish them. It is sometimes called Garden Huckleberry, but that properly refers to the S. scabrum described by Philip Miller.
As its old scientific name that is still often seen, Solanum × burbankii, indicates, it is of hybrid origin. The plant was bred by Luther Burbank in the early 1900s and is a hybrid of S. villosum and S. guineense.
Plants are compact, typically growing to a height of 12"-24", and may fruit at sizes as small as 4". The plant produces diminutive, dark blue-purple fruits that are bland in flavor and often combined with sugar in desserts. Green (unripe) fruits are poisonous.
The Wonderberry shrub is an extremely easy-to-grow plant which is grown similarly to tomatoes. Seeds are sown in the summer in full or part sun. Fruit can be expected in 75 days.
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