Alice Springs Desert Park
Known as the Desert Raisin (Solanum centrale) is a traditional bush tucker that has become popular in western cuisine.
A member of the genus Solanum, care must be taken when trying to identify the species in the wild, as they can be easily mistaken by the novice for other species that are poisonous. Even within the same species of bush tomato (Solanum), there can be variation to the same species, such as in the leaves (see the caution below).
Solanum centrale are known by the following common names, Desert Raisin and Bush Tomato. Extreme care need to be taken, when trying to identify the individual species.
If you are not an expert at identifying the plant, ‘DO NOT’ eat the fruit, as some Solanum species that look similar, are toxic.
In the Solanum species, the unripe fruit contains the toxin solanine (the same as that found in green potatoes). Only a select few species of Solanum produce edible fruit when fully ripen. Others remain toxic.
There are many other Solanum species that resemble Solanum centrale, and only some of them produce edible fruit eg Solanum chippendalei and Solanum ellipticum. Some closely related species produce fruit that are toxic.
S. sturtianum is poisonous and can usually be recognised by the yellow or black dry brittle fruits.
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Eudicots
- Clade: Asterids
- Order: Solanales
- Family: Solanaceae
- Genus: Solanum
- Species: Solanum centrale
ASDP FloraBatswing Coral Tree Blue Mallee Bush Banana Buttercup Pigweed Dead Finish Desert Grevillea Desert Oak Desert Raisin Field Lily Georges Indigo Golden Everlasting Honey Grevillea Kangaroo Grass Lamarchea sulcata Native Apricot Native Bluebell Native Cotton Bush Native Tomato Olearia ferresii Nicotiana megalosiphon subsp sessilifolia Parrot Pea Pink Everlasting Poached Egg Daisy Potato Vine Quandong Rattlepod Grevillea Red-bud Mallee Red Mulga Resurrection Fern Rough Halgania Sandover Lily Silkyheads Spearwood Bush Sturt’s Desert Pea Waddy-wood Walukara Weeping Spinifex White Spider Flower Wild Passionfruit Wildflower Display