Pretty Nipples: Solanum mammosum in floral arrangements

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:

This arrangement would make one heck of a bridal bouquet:

Bambi in the woods!

Nipple fruit as the seasonal decoration in a covered shopping street. Much better than the usual plastic flowers.

Nipple fruit in a wreath:

And just in time for Christmas….

Finally, in the “Only in Japan” department, here’s Tsunonasu-kun! (“Mr. Nipple Fruit”)

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:

This entry was posted in Life in Japan, What the Heck is That? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pretty Nipples: Solanum mammosum in floral arrangements

  1. Roger says:

    I wonder if Mr. Nipple Fruit does bar mitzvahs!

  2. ryukyumike says:

    Alice,
    Wow, I have people asking me for these:
    “I don’t recall ever seeing these blooms before…I do think they are not only unique, but I love many of the arrangements…I would definitelly make an arrangement using them.”… from my other blog…
    I wonder if they are available in the USA. Beautiful posy, by the way.
    Thanks for sharing !

  3. ryukyumike says:

    Oops, I mean beautiful post !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s