ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Solanum mammosum (Udder Fruit)

Updated on August 5, 2012
Solanum mammosum fruit
Solanum mammosum fruit | Source

The striking fruits above belong to Solanum mammosum a lesser known, but distinctive, ornamental garden plant. These quirky fruit have earned this plant an equally quirky array of names, most of which are a result of the deviant immagination of mankind when they first lay eyes upon the fruit. Some of these names include Nipplefruit, Titty Fruit, Apple Of Sodom, Cow’s Udder, Udder Fruit, Super Duper Titty Fruit, Fox Face (in Japan) and Five Fingered Eggplant (in China). Even the species epiphet mammosum is in reference to the fruit of this plant and literally means ‘having breasts’. Solanum mammosum is native to South America but has an extended naturalised range that includes parts of Central America and the Caribbean.

The leaves and stems of Solanum mammosum are hairy and spiny and are quite similar in appearance to eggplant, although this plant grows much larger up to the size of a small tree. Solanum mammosum is a perennial in the wild and eventually becomes woody near the base of the trunk, but under cultivation it will often die after fruiting or become leggy and is usually grown as an annual because of this. The flowers are puple with a thin white stripe down each petal and yellow anthers resembling a large tomato flower but with the colouration of an eggplant flower.

The bizarre, globular fruits that follow resemble both a nipple having a large central lobe at the tip and an udder having multiple smaller lobes around the base of the fruit. The fruits turn from green to a bright, golden yellow when ripe and can grow to about 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter. Although the Nipple Fruit plant resembles a large eggplant bush, don’t be fooled as the fruit is actually toxic and should not be eaten.

Despite its toxicity or perhaps because of it as is the case for many medicinal plants, the Nipple Fruit has several medicinal and cultural uses. Hunters in Trinidad crush the leaves of the plant to extract the juice which they then rub on their feet to rid them of the fungus which causes Athlete’s Foot. There are reports of this plant being used to treat restlessness, although I cannot find the method of preparation in regards to this treatment. The juice of the fruit can also form a lather and can be used as a detergent, although one for use on clothing rather than the dirty dishes I’d imagine.

People in Hong Kong and Taiwan import the stems and fruit of the Udder Fruit from growers in South America to use in Christmas tree like household plant displays during Chinese New Year celebrations. The bright golden coloured fruits are put on display as a harbinger of future success. They are particular popular during the Year of the Ox celebrations due the resemblance of the fruit to bovine udders. The word finger in Cantonese is similar to the word sons, leading to the superstitious belief that the number of lobes of the fruit represents the number of male offspring that will born into the household. Another superstition is that the number of lobes represents the number of successive generations that will live in harmony under the same roof, with a larger number a good sign of the future longevity of the family.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)