Plants in the nightshade family grown in The Tropical Greenhouse
Tabasco pepper Capsicum frutescensis a small shrub, whereas peppers and chili peppers (Capsicum annuum)are annual herbs. Like most species in the nightshade family tabasco peppers origin from Tropical America.
The burning taste in tabasco pepper comes from capsaicin, which is also the active ingredient in pepper spray. If you need reduce the heat after eating tabasco or chili you should eat fatty foods or drink milk. Capsaicin dissolves in fat. Water will spread the heat in your mouth instead..
Brunfelsia pauciflora originate from Southeastern Brazil. It is common as a potted plant with several cultivated varieties. Like many other species in the family nightshade it contains toxic alkaloids.
Color-changing potted plant
The flowers of Brunfelsia change color. When they open they are violet. Later on they turn pale purple and finally bebom white before they wither. This change in flower color have given the plants its trivial name ‘yesterdaytoday-and-tomorrow ”. The flowers smell seductive and are pollinated by day-active butterflies in nature.
The nightshade family Solanaceae includes 80 genera, nearly 3,000 species, most of them in the great genus Solanum with potatoes, tomato and eggplant. Other acquaintances in the family are henbane, belladonna and tobacco.
Beautiful and fragrant plant
Showy chalicevine Solandra grandiflora is widely grown in the Tropics due to its magnificent flowers. Like many species in the nightshade family, the plants in the genus Solandra are hallucinogenic. Historically they have been used by native people in Mexico for ceremonial purposes.
Tamarillo Solanum betaceumis sometimes found in the grocery store in Sweden. Its home region is the Andes, but nowadays it is grown all over the world. In Europe Portugal has a large production.
The fruit has a very special taste, and can be used both as starter, and in stew, and dessert. The leaves have a strong aroma, somewhat reminiscent of elderberry or figwort (Scrophularia), while the flowers smell overwelmingly sweet. As well as in potatoes and many others species in the genus all green parts of the plant are toxic. The fruit can also be allergenic.
Brugmansia vulcanicola is endemic to the Peruvian and Colombian Andes and grows at an altitude of about 3000 meters. In nature, it is a shrub or a small tree with large, funnel-shaped flowers.
Broken interaction with animals
The whole genus Brugmansiahas lost its ability to spread seeds and have therefore is extinct in the wild. The genus has survived thanks to human cultivation, both as ornamentals and as hallucinogenic plants. In nature seeds were probably spread by, the now extinct, the South American megafauna. Brugmansiahas been used in rituals in South American indigenous cultures.