In my November 15 column in The Japan Times, I wrote about a crazy plant called “nipple fruit” (AKA “titty fruit,” “zombie apple,” “cow’s udder” and — only in Japan– “fox face.” The Latin name is Solanum mammosum. It’s sold in flower shops throughout Japan from September through November as long branches (of a meter or longer) stripped of leaves and thorns so just the fruit are still attached.
I couldn’t imagine how these udderly weird fruits would work in floral arrangements, so I went looking for examples. As luck would have it, there’s an exhibition on through December 25 in Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture. I called and got some photos:
Many thanks to the JA Bihoku agriculture cooperative for the photos above. I’ve got a few more examples found elsewhere: the arrangement on the left graced the reception desk at a dentist’s office. On the right, nipple fruit paired with roses:
I close with this unusual horizontal arrangement (with persimmons) displayed at the Floral Museum in Chiba Prefecture: