Solanum muricatum is a species of evergreen shrub native to South America and grown for its sweet edible fruit. It is known as pepino dulce ("sweet cucumber" in English, in order to differentiate it from cucumber which is also called "pepino" in Spanish) or simply pepino; the latter is also used for similar species such as "S. mucronatum" (which actually seems to belong in the related genus Lycianthes).
The pepino dulce fruit resembles a melon (Cucumis melo) in colour, and its flavour recalls a mixture of honeydew and cucumber, and thus it is also sometimes called pepino melon or melon pear, but pepinos are only very distantly related to melons and pears. Another common name, "tree melon", is more often used for the Papaya (Carica papaya) though the pepino dulce plant generally does not look much like a tree; it looks more like a ground cover, trailing plant.
The present species is, however, a close relative of other nightshades cultivated for their fruit, including the tomato (S. lycopersicum) and the eggplant (S. melongena), which its own fruit closely resembles. Pepino fruit is common in markets in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Chile, but less often overseas because it is quite sensitive to handling and does not travel well. Attempts to produce commercial cultivars and to export the fruit have been made in New Zealand, Turkey, Mauritius and Chile.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme,
and also part of the Food Friday meme.