27 - JURUBEBA
Solanum paniculatum L (SOLANACEAE)
27- Jurubeba - Solanum paniculatum L (SOLANACEAE)
Erect shrub, up to 2.5 m high, with sparse spines up to 1 cm. It has cylindrical branches, covered with fine hair. Simple leaves, from 5.0 to 25 x 3.5 to 9.5 cm, slightly velvety, sometimes spiny, petiole 2.5 to 4.0 cm long, rigid and with cardboard texture, cut and with irregular shape, generally pointed, with a whitish underside and full of soft down. Branched inflorescences, of more than 20 flowers, white or lilac. Berry type fruit, similar to a small jiló of 1.5 cm in diameter, not surrounded by the chalice, covered with a slight soft hair, like the peach skin.
Incredible to think that it is related to eggplant. I wonder if it is not possible to make a type of babaganuche from jurubeba or perhaps a pate, but perhaps it is better to leave it to the birds, for whom it is an important source of food. Birds are also very important for the plant, helping to disperse it. Many plants introduced in the Cerrado Infinito can spread throughout the city in this way and become common. The more jurubebas, the more birds that disperse more jurubebas and attract more birds, helping to balance the urban environment.
Distribution: Native in South America, it is found throughout the national territory.
Situation in São Paulo: Found in vacant lots and roadsides, with invasive behavior.
How to plant: Throw the jurubebas and don't worry, it's a very anarchic plant, it grows wherever it wants.
Uses: Sometimes cultivated as an ornamental and for consumption of preserved fruits, taken as a bitter digestive tonic to accompany heavier dishes with rice, beans and meat. Used to flavor drinks with an extremely bitter taste; the most famous, Leão do Norte, is mixed with grape wine, in a recipe that has existed since the 1920s.
AGRA, MF; NURIT-SILVA, K .; BERGER, LR FLORA OF PARAIBA, BRAZIL: SOLANUM L. (SOLANACEAE). ACTA BOTANICA BRASILICA, V. 23, N. 3, P. 826-842, 2009.