Pepino (Solanum muricatum), like the choko, is a perennial food plant. Pepino is related to tomatoes (I can't decide if they are fruits or vegetables). I first read about pepinos in Eric Toensmeier books on perennial food gardening. I wanted to try it, and Chris from Gully Grove kindly offered to post a cutting to me. I was a bit worried that I would manage to kill it after she had gone to so much effort to post it to me, but pepinos seem to have an amazing will to live and both cuttings grew quickly into healthy bushes.
I planted them in the corner of the garden because Chris said they could get quite large. Actually it turned out that they spread out more than grew up (in my garden anyway). I spotted the first fruit and waited for it to ripen. The first tasting was much anticipated. I suppose if these were a delicacy you would see them in the supermarket produced by commercial growers, so I shouldn't have expected too much. There wasn't anything wrong with the pepino, but it wasn't particularly tasty. Kind of like a crunchy, bland melon. Certainly edible, if you were hungry enough.
|Inside the pepinos|
|Pepino flowers are pretty and feed the bees|
|The first small pepino fruit|
|The pepino bushes in my garden|