field horticulture
            More On The Solenaceae Family
      - By Fred Field

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Now this started with the pepinos which is  one of the better ones we all enjoy; taste very much like a sweet melon but not related now most of the dangerous family usually exhibit bluish to purple flowers which is already a signal to insects and animals beware; interesting pepinos produce strong purple on the fruit; as the fruit is not toxic is could just be a ruse to fool hungry foragers. Genetically it is there but doesn’t play an active roll; so lets move on to potatos; initially potatos exposed near the top of the ground can be bluish  which some foragers can detect; warning them ;leave it alone; with the sudden surge of photosynthesis which turns the potato green a chemical reaction takes place and it is now very toxic, again I hark back to how the potato protects its tuberous off spring? By telling intruders if you want the non toxic potatos deeper in the ground the first obstacle is the toxic ones; Now lets deal with harmful ones how does it produce theses nasties; one simple word; Alkaloids and they consist of nitrogenous organic substances produced by plants as a secondary  metabolite which have an intense physiological action on animals even in low doses which all makes sense [well to me anyway] as to the ingenous plants defense systems; good example is deadly nightshade ;it stops browsers consuming foliage as the berries are numerous and loaded but birds can gorge them selves and the toxic takes a little bit of time to work and as most birds digestive system is around 20 minutes tops from consumption to delivery out the rear end so great way for seed dispersal; win win Now others in this family such as tobacco which is loaded with nicotine which is extremely efficient at keeping marauding insects at bay;humans roll it up in paper and set fire to it and inhale it and it supposedly stimulates the neurons in ones brain ;{YEAH RIGHT””} cannabis  and datura are another in this peculiar family of solanaceae; so clearly these clever plants have a trick or treat approach and some with a well thought out approach to not only surviving but thriving; another that comes to mind capsicums whos seeds are even painful for birds to even contemplate which suggests distribution by birds; is not an option but by some other methodology or animal and what we must always remember when we grow any plant; we can research its origins but we don’t take into account what insects; animals; micro organisms and all environmental factors the plant knew about and evolved accordingly; so we bring say to little old NZ and every thing is so different ; plants have to learn to adapt and over time they will mutate to their  benefit; not ours””Of the 2800 we know of this unique family whilst closely related they are stand alone as individuals who all have a plan which will always ensure their survival; as humans we certainly don’t have that sort of intelligence to survive 200 million years

 Plants need other plants they don’t need a million tonnes of glyphosate dumped on them each year; once you strategically start to eliminate plants good or annoying to some of us you start a chain reaction ; just take for example deforestation ; no it would take up to 500 years to get the same harmony to where it was before clearing of same; We should be educating all our children about the importance of all plants not about so much rubbish  they try to take in day to day which will be of no good or benefit to them what so ever to them when they grow up; A lot of us get frustrated with so many things that are blatantly wrong and politicians are the last people on the planet  to affix any problem; only the masses can make the changes; the plastic problem is a good example; disaster staring them in the face; and don’t do anything; now where are my Prozac pills”     

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