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Old April 19, 2012   #1
jennifer28
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Default sunberry, wonderberry, Solanum Burbankii

I think i have this in my yard already but I don't trust it because I am not 100% sure about it. I am going to grow some wonderberry seeds that my friend gave me. Does anyone out there like wonderberries? Are they too bitter to eat without putting them in a jelly or pie? I would love your opinions on these.
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Old April 19, 2012   #2
Wi-sunflower
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If you think you have them in your year, you probably don't.

I grew them a couple of years ago and will not grow them again. They look way too much like purple nightshade which is poisonous. We have the nightshade wild all over the place so I wouldn't trust that a plant or 2 slipped into the sunberry planting.

Be careful,
Carol
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Old April 19, 2012   #3
janezee
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Jennifer, because you have a well-landscaped yard, you indeed, might have wonderberries, but I'm with Carol on the warning. Deadly nightshade is the weed that I was warned not to eat as a child in the woods of New England. I can't tell them apart, but that's because I haven't seen the DN for over 40 years.
A trip to the Extension Office or your local Master Gardener Program seems to be in order.

jane
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Old April 19, 2012   #4
ChrisK
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Default meh.

I've grown them from seed purchased from SSE. They are virtually tasteless little bags of seeds eaten plain. They are also a pain to pick and keep whole. For me they were also whitefly factories. They tend to seed themselves in...everywhere.

However, they make a reasonable tasting beautiful purple jelly with lemon juice added to bring out some flavor.

http://thescientistgardener.blogspot...poisonous.html
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Old April 19, 2012   #5
jennifer28
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Jane and Carol-
I should have explained that while I have what I think could be wonderberry in my yard, I would not eat it or plant seeds from it because I don't know what it is.

I got some seeds from my friend who is a master gardener in wisconsin, she is the same woman who sent me pepperoncini seeds. BUT--- you are correct, how would I know she really gave me the correct seed, all I can say is I would be pretty sure since she has eaten the berries and fed them to her son, so it's probably wonderberry.

ChrisK - thank you for the review, that is kind of what i was wondering - if it would be any good to eat. I kind of think I don't want the aggrevation. I may toss them into a one of my neighbor's yards, it is a woman I am not particularly fond of, anyway, LOL
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Old April 19, 2012   #6
janezee
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lol you eco-terrorost! (Wrong spelling to defeat the Patriot Act)
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Old April 19, 2012   #7
Wi-sunflower
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I got the seeds I grew from the SSE public catalog so I knew what I planted were the right stuff. But we have the nightshade pretty much everywhere. And most of my weeders aren't all that good at realizing it's a weed and not a pepper or tomato plant when it's small. So they tend to miss weeding them out. That's why I avoided it come harvest time.

Carol
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Old October 12, 2019   #8
shule1
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Wonderberries (Solanum retroflexum, formerly known as Solanum burbankii) aren't wild (although they can be invasive). Luther Burbank spent 25 years breeding them. More likely what's in your yard is Solanum nigrum. Wonderberries can probably hybridize with S. nigrum, though. It's possible you might have some ferral wonderberries if someone (maybe your neighbors) planted them and they spread, or if previous owners of the land planted them. Freezes can kill them, but they reseed heavily.

I like wonderberries. I like them fresh, in salads, cooked on pizza, and cooked in frittatas. They freeze well. Most people don't like them fresh, but a few people out there do. Mine aren't bitter at all, although other nightshade berries I've tried sometimes have been. They can be tart or a bit sour, but they get sweeter and fruitier if left to ripen longer. I recommend using them like you use tomatoes, though, for the most part.

Last edited by shule1; October 12, 2019 at 11:02 PM.
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Old October 13, 2019   #9
NarnianGarden
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I liked them. Grew them in 2014, 2015 and possibly in 2016 (can't remember that one for sure). Very tasty, but as I commented here somewhere, there was some genetic variability between plants. Berries in one plant were tastier than in another (I did not save seeds as I was not so interested in that species)
I have seeds for another Solanum hopeful which should have larger berries, will try them next year.
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