Wonderberry seeds

Wonderberry

3 ft. plants yield dozens of clusters of dark, ¼ in. berries; each cluster holds 8-12 fruits. Unique, huckleberry-like flavor makes for intriguing dessert fillings, jellies, syrups, etc. Green fruits are likely toxic and should not be consumed.

The Wonderberry, also known as the Sunberry, was originally botanically classified Solanum burbankii and today is classified as Solanum retroflexum. The fruit was created by renowned American plant breeder, Luther Burbank over 100 years ago when he crossed Solanum guinense of West Central Africa with Solanum villosum of Chile. Wonderberry bears a close resemblance to the garden huckleberry (Solanum melanocerasum) but is, in fact, a separate species. Many of these black colored berries of the Solanum genus are loosely referred to as “black nightshade”, though they should not be confused with “deadly nightshade” Atropa belladonna, which is an entirely different genus.

Grow like tomatoes, but Wonderberry is more finicky to germinate – tiny seeds need to keep moist for a much longer period. Self sows readily. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before transplanting outside after last frost. Space 30 in. apart.

Wonderberry Plant Info: What Is Wonderberry And Is It Edible

Wonderberries are interesting plants that produce berries from early summer until autumn. The plants are annual in most climates; wonderberries do not tolerate frost. Read on for more wonderberry plant info.

What is Wonderberry?

Also known as garden huckleberry, the wonderberry/sunberry (Solanum burbankii) is a unique plant developed by Luther Burbank in the early 1900s. The bushy, erect plants reach mature heights of two feet (0.5 m.). Attractive, white flowers appear in midsummer, followed by hundreds of deep bluish-black berries.

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Wonderberry growing is easy and the plants require little care. Start the seed indoors in late winter, then move the plants outdoors when all danger of frost has passed in the spring. If you live in a warm climate with no late frost, you can plant the seeds directly outdoors.

Caring for the plant is no different than caring for a tomato or pepper plant.

Is Wonderberry Edible?

Wonderberry belongs to the highly poisonous nightshade family. Although this sounds frightening, the nightshade family also includes common edibles such as potatoes, tomatoes, gooseberry, eggplant, hot peppers, and tobacco.

Wonderberries are relatively safe to eat, although unripe, green berries may be poisonous. This usually doesn’t present a problem because unripe wonderberries are extremely bitter. Ripe berries are harmless, and they are easy to distinguish because they lose their greenish color. The berries are ready to pick when they are soft and no longer shiny.

The ripe berries aren’t very tasty when picked fresh and eaten raw, with a flavor akin to an unripe tomato. However, the berries are delicious in pies, syrups, and preserves when they are cooked and combined with sugar or another sweetener.

Don’t pick the berries the same way you would pick blueberries or huckleberries because you’ll have nothing but a sticky mess. Instead, roll the berries gently between your fingers and let them drop into a bowl. Don’t pick the green berries; they will ripen if you leave them on the plant.