Solanaceae « Tag

Posted on 16 October 2008 by

We Are Family – Exploring the Tomato’s Siblings

By Vanessa Richins

There are quite a few interesting members of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade Family.

Of course, tomato is the most important, but here are some of the others.

Potatoes: We are all familiar with the potato. You should be careful planting potatoes and tomatoes near each other, because they can get some of the same diseases.

You could also save room in your garden and graft a tomato plant to the top of a potato plant. The yield for both will be less than if you Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 12 June 2008 by

Deadly Tomatoes

By Kira Hamman

A few hundred years ago, people thought that tomatoes were poisonous.

Western people, that is, not the South Americans who had been eating them for several thousand years at that point.

Because tomatoes (along with potatoes, eggplant, and peppers, to name a few) belong to the Solanaceae family, which also includes plants like deadly nightshade, mandrake, and tobacco, it seems they suffered from guilt by association. And it’s true that tomato plants do bear a striking resemblance to some of those poisonous ones, so maybe people were wise to be cautious.

Nonetheless, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 22 April 2008 by

The Tomacco: One Simpsons Episode Comes to Life

TomaccoBy Vanessa Richins

If you are a Simpsons fan, you may have seen the episode where Homer Simpson crosses tomatoes and tobacco with the aid of plutonium.

The result was dubbed a “tomacco”. It tasted horrible, being loaded with nicotine, and produced instantaneous addiction.

While the fruit as envisioned on the show does not exist, this is closer to reality that you may have thought.

Tomatoes and tobacco are both members of the Solanaceae family, so they can be crossbred and grafted. The first successful “tomacco” plant was reported in Read the rest of this entry »


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