Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Solanum nigrum - Meranti

Sayur Meranti or ranti is Solanum nigrum, a short-lived perennial shrub of Solanaceae family, native to Eurasia.

Meranti has small white flowers with 5 lobed corolla, about 5mm-8mm in diameter, with yellow stamens.  Fruit is berry, green, about 6mm-8mm diameter turn black when ripens.  It is reported that there is a red fruits strain in India.

However, meranti can be confused with a variety of other related nightshades : Solanum americanum, Solanum ptycanthum, and Solanum villosum.   I myself cannot be really sure if the Meranti I encountered is really a Solanum nigrum.

S. nigrum is harvested for its berries and leaves.  It can be consumed raw as salad or cooked.

Solanum nigrum - Meranti's berries, leaves, and flowers

Solanum nigrum - cross section of a Meranti's berry, exposing its seeds
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