The Q&A Archives: St. Vincent's Lilac

Question: I recently purchased 3 plants on trellises. One of them I have been unable to find any information on. It is called a St Vincent's Lilac. The leaves are similar to a tomato plant, there are small violet flowers with yellow centers and clusters of dark red berries. Can you give me any information on what this plant is and the proper care. Also can it be brought inside for the winter months? Thank you for any help.

Answer: Your plant is probably Solanum wendlandii (Costa Rican Nightshade). It's a tender plant and should be protected from cold temperatures during the winter months. Outdoors it likes full sun to part afternoon shade and little to moderate water. All plant parts are poisonous to humans but birds seem to like the berries (and consume them without harm). It's a deciduous vining plant and will lose its leaves during the winter months. But, if you keep it in a place that stays above 50F during the winter, it will leaf out again in spring.

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