Jerusalem cherry

Jerusalem cherry

Solanum pseudocapsium

Common Name:

Jerusalem cherry

Scientific Name:

Solanum pseudocapsium

Alternative common names:

:False Jerusalem cherry, Madeira cherry, Madeira winter cherry or winter cherry. 


Jerusalem cherry is an erect, bushy, evergreen shrub, often grown as a winter-fruiting annual. It has wavy-margined, elliptical leaves, which are glossy and dark green. In summer, it bears white flowers similar to those of tomatoes or peppers. These are followed by long-lasting, spherical red, yellow or orange-red fruit.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Peru, South America.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

How does it spread?

Seeds are dispersed by birds and other animals that eat the fruit.

Why is it a problem?

It has the capacity to invade and transform areas by displacing existing indigenous plant and leaving the area open to soil erosion. It can also form dense stands in open areas and cutover shrub and forest land. It is poisonous to livestock and humans.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Long, narrow, lance to elliptic shaped, the same colour of green on both sides, hairless, with entire and slightly wavy margins.

Flowers: White, star-shaped flowers are borne singly or arranged in small clusters in the upper leaf forks.

Fruit: Bright orange-red berries, 10-15mm in diameter.

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornamental and medicinal uses.

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