Weeds that look like tomato plant are very common and can be easily mistaken. Over the past few years, people have been familiar with the plant for its various culinary and ethnomedicinal properties.
Most of these weeds share the same family as tomatoes, making them have similar features. Read the full article here to learn about these weeds.
List of Weeds That Look Like Tomato Plant
1. Black Nightshade
The black nightshade with the botanical name Solanum ptycanthum is a common plant that produces fruit berries that smell like the familiar cherry tomato. However, it is not edible because it contains a toxic alkaloid called Solanum.
The seedlings have leaves that are ovate with pointed lips. The stem is about 24 inches in height after maturation.
It has small flowers which cluster together. Before maturation, the fruits are green, and they turn black during and after maturation.
The plant can treat cramps, stomach irritation, and pain. However, there aren’t any scientific evidences or claims to back this up.
2. Red Soda Apple
Soda apple, also called Solanum Capsoides, is a perennial shrub that produces fruit that resembles tomato plants. The two fruits can be mistaken for each other because of their shape, color, and size similarities. The fruits are about 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter and have leathery skin with fine pulp. The fruits are edible, but people should take them in small quantities.
The shrubs are multibranched, and they are about 78 inches (2 m) in height. The leaves have short hairs and prickles. Also, the flowers are white with curved petals and white stamens.
Although it’s believed that this plant has some medicinal uses, the uses have no scientific backup.
3. Horse Nettle
The horse nettle, also called Solanum Carolinense, is similar to the tomato plants. The major difference between both plants is the color. Its fruits have a berry color and look like ripe tomato fruit when mature. However, the fruits are not edible because they are poisonous.
The leaves come in various shapes, such as oval, alternate and oblong, and are about inches (11 cm) long. The flowers have white or purple petals, and before maturation, the fruits are dark green, and they turn yellow during maturation.
It is a perennial plant that flowers through the summer, and they grow up to 35 inches (90 cm) in length.
The infusion from the leaves can expel worms from a worm-infected individual. People also reported that berries are effective in treating epilepsy and tetanus. It can also serve as a painkiller and diuretic.
4. Jamaican Nightshade
This weed is a perennial shrub that looks like tomato plants. However, the fruit is not edible like a tomato.
The shrubs have about 118 inches (3 m) tall stems with 6 inches (15 cm) base diameter. Leaf veins have compressed prickles on the surface. Mature leaves have an angular sinuate shape with dense trichomes.
The flower consists of lobes with a lanceolate shape. The fruits are berries that turn from green to bright red at maturity and contain about 50 seeds.
The root decoction of the plant is used to expel worms and treat thrush in both children and adults. Also, birds feed from bright red berries for food.
5. Litchi Tomato
The major difference between this plant and the tomato is the small thorns that appear on its body. It is a close relative of both tomato and potato. The underside of the leaves and stems is full of thorns, making the surface rough.
Small green shrouds cover the fruit and only become soft after maturation. The fruits are red with the shape of small tomatoes with a pointed end.
The inside of the fruit is yellow, and it contains tiny flat seeds. The flowers are white with an eggplant appearance.
The dried root decoction treats kidney issues because it is a diuretic. The chewed roots can serve as an Abortifacient. In addition, the plant is edible and does not cause any harm when eaten.
Persimmon, a native of France, is a member of the family Ebenaceae. The fruit resembles that of a tomato, and it is edible.
The fruit is about 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter and is yellowish-red in color. Before maturation, the fruit is astringent. However, the astringent property reduces when it is ripe.
It contains some major vitamins, such as vitamins A and E. The presence of these vitamins makes the plant important in blood clotting. They also possess antioxidants, reducing the risk of chronic health problems like cancer: stroke, and high blood pressure. The plant also helps in improving eye, skin, and heart health.
7. Garden Huckleberry
This plant is another member of the nightshade family. In Africa, it is cultivated as a vegetable and to make dyes. It is a perennial shrub that can grow to about 10 feet in proper condition.
The leaves are reddish in color, and they change to green colors during summer. The berries are blackish purple and come from pink flowers that bloom during spring. The fruit is sweet, making it food for birds and humans.
The dark purple color contains an antioxidant named anthocyanin. Also, the color makes it a popular option for making dyes. In addition, the plant has many medicinal uses. It can serve as a purgative, sedative, emollient and diuretic.
8. Carolina Wolfberry
Carolina Wolfberry is a poisonous perennial plant. It belongs to the Solanaceae family, which bears little resemblance to nightshade plants.
The fruits have prickles, and they resemble small growing tomatoes. The flowers are either white or purple, with clusters at the end of the stalk. The fruit is smooth and comes out during winter. However, it is easy to differentiate this plant from tomato because of its succulent leaves.
The plant can be used to boost the immune system against flu and cold. In addition, it aids weight loss making it a good choice for people wanting to lose weight. It has antioxidants that are good for eyes and skin health, maintain blood sugar, and strengthen the body.
9. Sharon Fruit
Sharon fruit is a kind of persimmon that has fruit that looks like a tomato. The fruit is like a tomato with sweet thin skin and a green stalk.
The fruit is about 3 inches (8 cm) and has a green calyx at the top. The fruit does not have seeds, making it sweet for consumption.
Before maturation, the skin feels firm and bland. However, it softens after maturation to grow into a sweet-flavored fruit.
The fruit has a high fiber content and has important minerals such as magnesium, iron, and sodium. They also have high protein. In addition, they are a great source of major vitamins A and C, which people can use to improve their eye and skin health.
Tamarillo closely resembles the common tomato; they come from the same family. It is referred to as tree tomato in some countries. It has a bitter-sour taste with little sweetness and a good aroma.
The plant is a small shrub about 17 feet tall with heart-shaped leaves. After maturation, the leaves grow to about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide.
The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each stalk. The juicy fruit contains seeds that can be dispersed by wind or humans.
The fruit is highly nutritional. It contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and high fiber content. In addition, the flesh supplies the body with magnesium, copper, and calcium. Also, the fruits contain major vitamins like pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamine. Therefore, it helps to lose weight, and some countries use it for culinary purposes.
Physalis belongs to the family of nightshade. The fruits resemble tomatoes; some countries call them “tomato in wrap”. The fruits are orange in color, and they are edible. They appear in a shell that looks like paper from the plant’s dried flower.
After maturation, the plant grows to 118 inches (3 m) in height under normal conditions. Unlike tomatoes, it has a stiffer and straight stem, growing either annually or perennially. It requires sun and warm temperatures to grow well.
Its plants have many ethnomedicinal uses. For example, it is reported to have been used to treat asthma, kidney diseases, liver diseases, cancer, and others. It also contains antipyretic properties.
12. Pepino Dulce
Pepino Dulce, also called sweet Pepino, is an edible cousin of tomato. They come from the same family, Solanaceae.
It is a shrub that is propagated using the stems. It is known because of its edible fruit. The fruit weighs about 185 lbs (84 kg) and comes in white, purple, or yellow color.
The juicy fruit is mild and sweet with a fresh scent. The shape is majorly spherical or horn-shaped.
The fruit has antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antitumor activities. Therefore, people can use it to treat diabetes and hypertension. It can also cure stroke, cancer, and high blood pressure. In addition, it works for heartburn, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
13. Cranberry Plant
Cranberry is a creeping plant with fruits resembling small tomatoes. It is from the family Ericaceae, and the fruit is produced as a beverage called cranberries.
The plants have creeping stems. Leaves are either oval or elliptical, about half an inch. Cranberry flowers appear in June with bell-shaped and tinted corolla.
Cranberry flowers in June ripen in October. The small fruits have spots on their surfaces and an acidic taste.
It has many beneficial uses. It protects the cavities and prevents tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, it has a compound that reduces the risk of getting cancer. Cranberry is widely used to prevent urinary tract infections, the common cold, and kidney stones. However, these uses do not have scientific evidence.
Eggplant is a close relative of the tomato. It is a plant that looks like tomato. However, it has a different color. It belongs to the nightshade family because it contains small alkaloids. Before maturation, the leaves closely resemble tomato leaves.
The stems are straight with long green leaves. The leaves are about 7 inches long and 9 inches wide.
At the end of the stalk, the flower appears purple, about 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The fruit is oval with smooth skin and many seeds.
Eggplant helps to prevent cancer and heart-related problems. In addition, it is used greatly to treat flu and hasten wound healing. Furthermore, it aids in weight loss and digestive aid. In addition, it brightens the skin by cleaning and removing dead cells.
Gooseberries have tiny fruits with a similar taste to tomato fruit but do not resemble a tomato. It is a fruit vegetable in green, purple, or yellow colors. It is majorly cultivated in Africa, Europe, and southwest Asia.
Gooseberries are also part of the nightshade family of nightshade. Therefore, they are closely related to tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes.
The fruit has a round shape like a tomato but an astringent taste. Bushes are spiny, producing pink flowers that grow in clusters. Berries show prickles or hairs on their surface.
Gooseberries are majorly used for culinary purposes and ethnomedicinal uses. In addition, it has supplements that help to prevent cancer, rapid aging, heartburn, and high blood pressure.
Many plants resemble tomatoes with their leaves, striation, stem, and fruit. Most of them are poisonous, making it important to examine them well before eating them.
Some similar plants have thorns, and the leaves and fruit can have another color different from tomatoes. So, before deciding to use a tomato alternative, always check if it’s edible or not.
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