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Jaltomata procumbens

Xaltomatl, Creeping False Holly

A herbaceous shrub, usually up to 1.5 m tall, distributed from the southern USA and Mexico through Central America to Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, where it grows at elevations between 1500 and 3000 m along roadsides, streams and rivers and in pine forests. It has short but wide leaves, green flowers with olive spots and perfectly round, cherry-sized berries that are dark red to bluish-purple when ripe. The fruit is covered by think skin and the pulp is very juicy, with numerous tiny seeds, similar to sand grains. In fact, in the Aztec language Nahuatl, the common name of Jaltomata procumbens -“Xaltomatl”- means “sand tomato”. The berries are sometimes sold in markets in Mexico, Central and South America and they are locally used in the preparation of different salsas and gravies. Jaltomata procumbens has a long history in the old pharmacopoeias of Mexico and it has been known for its medicinal applications since the sixteenth century. Presently, it continues to be used as a remedy in the treatment of ulcers and other gastric problems, biliary and nervous ailments. In Mexico’s Federal District, the leaves of the plant are used as an ingredient in aromatic baths. In cultivation it adapts well to warm temperate and temperate areas. Seeds can be planted like those of tomatos or Physalis, in trays or pots, shallowly covered, at 20 to 25°C.

 
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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

 
       
 

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We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches


Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.


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