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Seed Information

Scientific Name: Solanum retroflexum
Alternative Names: Umsoba, Msoba (Zu), Wonderberry, Sunberry.

Package Format¼g up to 700 sds

Solanum retroflexum
Solanum retroflexum
Solanum retroflexum


  • Perennial
  • Solanum retroflexum is a historic heirloom fruiting shrub indigenous to South Africa.
  • It is non-thorny and grows up to 75 cm high and forms a round bush with purplish stems and hairy, grey-green toothed leaves.
  • The flowers are simple with white petals and a yellow centre.
  • It produces green berries, which change to dull purple-black when ripe.

Culinary Uses

  • The ripe black berries can be eaten fresh or made into jam or syrup for ice cream.
  • Nastergal is considered an important green leafy vegetable (spinach) that is cultivated in homesteads around South Africa.
  • A tea made with the leaves tastes like fresh peanuts before they are roasted.

Parts Used

  • The berries, fresh leaves and tender shoots can be eaten.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • The ripe black berries are very rich in minerals, especially calsium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Nastergal leaves can be used as a poultice to treat cancerous sores, wounds and leucoderma (a condition where the pigment is lost from areas of the skin, causing white patches).
  • It treats chronic eczema and pruritic (itchy) skin conditions.

Other Uses

  • The berries give a light to dark blue dye - the depth of colour can be increased by adding more berries.
  • The leaves are used for obtaining a green colour.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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