- Author: Betty Victor
While grocery shopping last week, I wandered over to the floral department and saw a plant that caught my eye, but it said on the tag it was an annual. I usually do not buy annuals so I pass it up. But I thought about it went back the next day and well it's here with me.
Because it was different I had to do some research on it this is what I found out.
It is a Solanum integrifolium, a member of the nightshade family. This plant has several common names, Pumpkin Tree, Pumpkin Bush, Pumpkin on a Stick are just 3 of them.
Pumpkin on a stick grows 3-4 feet tall. The stems are purple with large green leaves and thorns on both sides. The flowers are purple, when the small pumpkins begin to show they start out green, turn to yellow then as it ripens turns to orange. The fruit is not edible.
Pumpkin on a stick is used in floral decorations. They remove the leaves and thorns after the leaves dry leaving only the fruit. The plant can be grown by seed. There are some garden web sites that sell them.
It can also be propagated from cuttings. Because it is a short lived annual this method might be the best way as you could have several. It does take full sun but will tolerate some shade. They will also grow well in a container. I am going to plant mine in a container then try to propagate from some of the stems.
Plant this plant where it can be seen by you and your friends and neighbors. It is a conservation starter.