Herbs & Plants

Solanum centrale

Botanical Name :Solanum centrale
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. centrale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name:Kutjera, or Australian desert raisin.
Some other names:In english it is called English Bush raisin, bush tomato, bush sultana. In Alyawarr  it is called Akatjurra. In
Arrernte it is called  Merne akatyerre and in Pitjantjatjara it is called  Kampurarpa.

Habitat :Solanum centrale is  native to the more arid parts of Australia. Like other “bush tomatoes“, it has been used as a food source by Central Australian Aboriginal groups for millennia.

Like many plants of the Solanum genus, desert raisin is a small bush and has a thorny aspect. It is a fast growing shrub that fruits prolifically the year after fire or good rains. It can also grow back after being dormant as root stock for years after drought years. The vitamin C-rich fruit are 1–3 cm in diameter and yellow in color when fully ripe. They dry on the bush and look like raisins. These fruits have a strong, pungent taste of tamarillo and caramel that makes them popular for use in sauces and condiments. They can be obtained either whole or ground, with the ground product (sold as “kutjera powder”) easily added to bread mixes, salads, sauces, cheese dishes, chutneys, stews or mixed into butter.

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Mardu people would skewer bush tomatoes and dry them so the food was readily transportable.

Traditionally, the dried fruit are collected from the small bushes in late autumn and early winter. In the wild, they fruit for only two months. These days they are grown commercially by Aboriginal communities in the deserts of central Australia. Using irrigation, they have extended the fruiting season to eight months. The fruit are grown by Amata and Mimili communities in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, by the Dinahline community near Ceduna, by the Nepabunna community in the northern Flinders Ranges, and on the Tangglun Piltengi Yunti farm in Murray Bridge, and are marketed by Outback Pride.

Desert Garden Produce is the only fully commercial Solanum centrale producer in the Northern Territory. It is the major commercial supplier to Robins Foods Pty Ltd under the Outback Spirit label

Edible Uses:
The ripe fruit has a delicious sun-dried tomato flavour and can be used in any dishes where tomatoes are used. Also called Desert Raisin or Desert Tomato.

Medicinal Uses:
Not found

Known Hazards:Green unripe fruits contain the toxin solanine (the same as that present in green potatoes) and must be fully ripened before consumption. There are many other Solanum species that resemble Solanum centrale, only some of which produce edible fruit.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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