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:
Nipple fruit as the seasonal decoration in a covered shopping street. Much better than the usual plastic flowers.
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:
I wonder if Mr. Nipple Fruit does bar mitzvahs!
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 !
Oops, I mean beautiful post !