Tamarillo – Solanum betaceum (syn. Cyphomandra betacea)

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Tamarillo, also known as the Tree Tomato, is a fast growing small tree that bears heavy crops of red or yellow sub-acid succulent fruit.  Blue-mauve flowers in Spring.  Fruit ripens Autumn/Winter and is ready to eat in Spring.  The fruit has many uses apart from being eaten fresh, such as being cooked in any way tomatoes would be cooked.  Tamarillo chutney and jam is a taste treat.  The yellow fruiting variety is usually milder and sweeter with slightly smaller fruit. Tamarillos are very quick growing and will crop in 18 months reaching a height of 2-3 metres.  They require well-drained soil and protection from wind and frost.   Ref: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s328653.htm, 
Even when it’s not fruiting, the Tamarillo, or Tree Tomato, makes an attractive foliage specimen tree, growing to 3-4m.  Originally from tropical South America, it thrives from the subtropics right across southern Australia.  Easily raised from seed and sown in spring, it will grow about a metre in its first year and it will fruit 18 months after planting.  The tree will have a good fruit set in autumn if provided with a frost-free aspect, good drainage, a sunny position and an annual application of enriched potassium fertiliser.  It needs plenty of water to make up for rapid transpiration through its large leaves.  Give it a light prune each spring to encourage the production of fruit on the new growth of wood. One drawback is that the leaves and roots can harbour mites, scale and aphids over winter and infest other plants in the spring (and if not controlled can lead to the death of the host plant as well – Ed.), although the thick skin of the Tamarillo prevents damage to the fruit itself.  The use of a systemic insecticide spray after you’ve harvested the fruit should take care of this problem. The skin, which is quite tough, is easily removed by dipping the fruit in boiling water for 10-20 seconds.  Being slightly astringent the fresh fruit makes a tasty addition to fruit salad, or cook the skinned and halved fruit, sprinkled with sugar, in a shallow pan in a moderate oven for 30 minutes until soft.  Serve with cream.
In summary:
* Autumn fruits, frost-tender
* Subtropics through to southern Australia
* Pretty specimen tree