Thursday, August 27, 2009

Faux tomatoes.

Have you ever seen this type of plant?

I don't know what it is. I'm calling it the 'faux-tomato'. These are the best pictures that I could get.
It smells like a tomato plant and it has a tiny seed pod that is just like a tiny green tomato.

The plants don't get anywhere near as large or as bushy as tomato plants.

The reason I ask about this plant is that wherever it is, there be Colorado Potato Beetles or their larvae (in fact, in the first picture, you can see a blurry beetle). I have also noticed that if this plant is beside a tomato plant, I rarely find any of the bugs on the tomatoes.

I have also noticed that I didn't have any of these by my potato plants and my potato plants were slaughtered by these beetles.

So my questions are - What is it? Is it a trap plant (in which case I *want* it by my tomatoes and peppers) or is it simply drawing more beetles in?

Do you know?

7 comments:

chook said...

is it a volunteer? i had one spring up between the bricks of the patio. it even has one tiny tomato on it.

Sarah said...

No, it's definitely not a volunteer. It's not a domesticated variety for sure, maybe not even a tomato plant, as far as I can tell. And there are a LOT of them.

Country Girl said...

Not sure??? Seems though I have some weeds out back that look similar. I will check out when I am in the garden later.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

It looks like nightshade to me, which is poisonous if that is what it is. Same family - and they like rich soil. Although, our sheep eat it - but they eat just about anything. But I may be wrong - it's hard to tell from the pics.

daharja said...

I've no idea, but if you get tomatoes from it, post the photos!

That's really curious, and has me stumped!

Maeve said...

I am pretty sure that is a nightshade plant of some sort. I would take it in to the county extension office for a positive ID.

Personally, I don't leave them in the garden when one sprouts up. I have one kiddo who puts anything in his hand into his mouth eventually, and I think cute little berries would be one of those irresistible kid-picking kinds of fruits.

If I didn't have kids, I might be inclined to leave a 'pest trap' growing.

nettlejuice said...

What you have there is the very blessed and much loved plant, lamb's quarters. The leaves and seeds are edible and very nutritious. Chenopodium album is the scientific name. It is from the goosefoot family, like beets and spinach. Yes, it is beneficial to have in the garden to improve soil and control pests. If it starts to get too out of control, just cut it back and eat it, just as you would eat spinach. Here's one way we like to use it...

http://flowoflove.blogspot.com/2009/07/our-wild-greens-smoothie.html