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Solanum sect. Cyphomandra?
Tamarillo (S. betaceum) with unripe fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Subgenus: Leptostemonum?
Section: Cyphomandra?
C. Martius ex Sendtner

About 50, see text

Cyphomandra was a genus in the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshades and relative). It used to contain about 35 species native to countries of the Americas from Mexico southwards to Northern Argentina.[1]

Recent authors have treated Cyphomandra as a clade within the genus Solanum rather than as a separate genus, uniting the members of the old genus with some other Solanum. This lineage is one among a group related to part of the traditional subgenus Leptostemonum. Thus, if is preferred to retain the taxon, Cyphomandra is probably best considered a section in Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum.[2]

Most grow as shrubs or small trees 2 or 3 metres in height. The best known species is the widely cultivated Tamarillo or tree tomato, but a number of the others are also cultivated as garden plants because of their attractive flowers or fruits. Several other species (e.g. S. cajanumense, S. circinatum, S. sibundoyense) also have fruits that are edible when ripe, and yet others are used as dyestuffs or in folk medicine where they are native.[3]


Species contained in the Cyphomandra clade, with their former specific epithets cited if they have significantly changed when moving to Solanum, are:[4]

Formerly placed here[edit]

Species formerly in the genus Cyphomandra which are not members of the Cyphomandra clade are:


  1. ^ Bohs (1988, 1994)
  2. ^ Bohs (1995), Solanaceae Source [2008]
  3. ^ Bohs (1989)
  4. ^ Solanaceae Source [2008]


  • Bohs, Lynn (1988): Four new species of Cyphomandra (Solanaceae) from South America. Systematic Botany 13(2): 265-275. First page image
  • Bohs, Lynn (1989): Ethnobotany of the genus Cyphomandra (Solanaceae). Economic Botany 43(2): 143-163 [English with Spanish abstract]. doi:10.1007/BF02859855 (HTML abstract and first page image)
  • Bohs, Lynn (1994): Cyphomandra (Solanaceae). Flora Neotropica 63: 1-175.
  • Bohs, Lynn (1995): Transfer of Cyphomandra (Solanaceae) and Its Species to Solanum. Taxon 44(4): 583-587. First page image
  • Solanaceae Source [2008]: Phylogeny. Retrieved 2008-OCT-01.