Solanum melanocerasum. Garden Huckleberry seeds are started indoors around the same time as tomato seeds. Transplant out in mid-May to June, with your tomato seedlings. The small, 1cm (1/2″) fruits begin to set early, turning from bright green to jet black. These hold on the plant, even if they appear early in the season. We recommend waiting until after the first frost to harvest all at once the fruits that have turned black. It’s a fruit for cooking and sweetening, with a flavour reminiscent of blueberries and Concorde grapes. These work well in pies and preserves, but require the same kind of help with sweetening that rhubarb does. Like tomatoes and eggplants, this is a member of the nightshade family, so care should be taken not to eat unripened or uncooked fruits Do not eat fruits with any green skin showing, as they are slightly toxic. The compact annual bushes grow with a height and spread around 60cm (24″) each. The tiny seeds are easy to save for planting the following year.
Some references confusingly list “wonderberry” as a synonym for this plant, but wonderberry is a hybridized variant. The common name Garden Huckleberry is also applied in some references to Solanum scabrum, a related plant grown as a leaf crop. Our Garden Huckleberry is native to Africa, and is not a true huckleberry, nor is it a ground cherry.
Matures 85 days from transplant. (Open-pollinated seeds)