The Giant Star Potato Tree is an amazing plant with huge, oak-like leaves and large, star-like purple flowers. It is a tropical relative of the potato and it does grow into a true, arborescent form. It is like a large, tropical version of some of our garden vegetables, like the potato and the eggplant. The leaves are light green to bright green and have several deep lobes. The leaves are held horizontally or slightly pendant on the branches. It is a great foliage plant because of the large size of the leaves and their attractive color and form. What makes this tree truly special, though are the beautiful, tri-colored flowers. The flowers are similar in form to those of the garden vegetables but they are much larger. They are larger, about 2-3 inches across and they are in small clusters at the ends of the twigs. The flowers are deep violet when they open and then they change to light purple and then fade to white over a few days. This color change causes the flower clusters to be multi-colored, with flowers that are purple, lavender and white all on the same tree. It is a very ornamental effect. It is a magnificent large shrub or small tree with a broad, rounded or dome-shaped crown and a short, crooked trunk. The trunk has smooth gray bark. The flowers are fragrant and are produced continuously throughout the year. The fruits are about the size of a tomato and are yellow to orange when became ripe, but are inedible. Solanum macranthum has a fast growth rate and can grow up to 9 ft tall in one season. It grows up to 20 ft tall and 15 ft wide at maturity. The leaves are about 1 ft in length. It is native to Brazil. As the plants are fast growing they love water. Can do without it - but grown is better and quicker with it. Grow in full sun. It is tolerant of most types of soils.
1. Soak the seed in water for several hours.
2. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
3. Put the seeds on the soil.
4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
5. Water the seeds.
6. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
7. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.