Jaltomata cajacayensis S. Leiva & Mione
updated 2016
Link to Jaltomata homepage
The information on this page may be cited as a communication with
professor Thomas Mione, Central Connecticut State University, Biology Department, Copernicus Hall,
1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050-4010 USA, and
Segundo Leiva G., Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego, Av. América Sur 3145, Casilla postal 1075, Trujillo, Peru
Novon 10: 53-59. 2000
Link to local name
Link to report(s) of fruits of this species being edible
Link to Jaltomata of
department Ancash

Photo by T. Mione in Peru,

of Mione, Leiva & Yacher 729







Character Description Figures
Habit & Height
Branches, young
Leaves, size    
arrangement and hairs    
Calyx at flowering    
at fruit maturity    
Corolla, lobes/lobules
shape and size
radial corolla thickenings
Stamen, length incl anther    
anther color & length    
anthers of a flower open simultaneously?    
pollen grains diameter (polar view): mean 31.2, range 28.75 - 32.5
(n = 50 grains, stained in cotton blue in lactophenol,
anthers stored in 70% ethanol prior, Mione et al. 624, flower collected in wild)
pollen size by Alison L. Grissom, year 2007 or 2008
Ovules per ovary
Herkogamy yes  
Fruit color (at maturity) and size    
Seeds per fruit  
no figure
Seed Size  
no figure
Chromosome number
no figure
Growability in Connecticut, USA
no data
no figure
How long does it take from flower to ripe fruit?
no data
no figure
no data
no figure
Seed Germination
no figure

Collections of Jaltomata cajacayensis including Geographic Distribution and Altitudes
Peru, Department Ancash (chronological order)
elevation m
collector (herbarium)
Data Entered
Arriba de Lampanin (Jimbe)
2 May 1987
J. Mostacero L. et al. 1846 (NY)
Aug 2011
Recuay Alrededor de Cajacay (Pativilca - Recuay)
borde de carretera
18 Nov 1995
S. Leiva G. 1739 (HAO)
Jan 2007
Bolognesi TYPE SPECIMEN: Cajacay, Km 90 highway from Pativilca to Recuay & Huaraz
open sun, roadside, with Agave andina, Carica candicans
18 Jan 1998
T. Mione, S. Leiva G. & L. Yacher 624; S. Leiva G., T. Mione & L. Yacher 2540
Jan 2007
Bolognesi Cajacay, cerca al Restaurant Cajacay
borde de cultivo
3 Jun 1999
G. Vilcapoma S. 4887 (MOL)
Jan 2007
Bolognesi Cajacay, 10 9 12 S,
77 26 17 W; digital photos and DNA sample, no pressed specimen taken by Mione
open sun near roadside
15 Jun 2005
T. Mione, S. Leiva G., & L. Yacher 729; S. Leiva G., T. Mione & L. Yacher 3368
Jan 2007

Elevation 2,400 - 2,639 m. Flowering in Jan, May, June, and November


Essay about the type collection of Jaltomata cajacayensis

Segundo Leiva G., Leon Yacher and I were driving from Patavilca on the coast (department of Lima) to Recuay up in the mountains (department of Ancash) on a paved road, and up and up we went. Mountains spectacular -- crane your neck to see the top, they rise so steep, must be a magazine picture but ... not. Evening is approaching and we have no place to sleep. It is raining and foggy. Should we drive on two more hours in these hazardous conditions? No, we decide, it would be too dangerous. Towns are 20 to 40 minutes drive apart now. We stop in the next town, Cajacay, and ask for a little hotel. There aren't any, we are told. We ask again, does anyone rent a room every so often? Sorry, we are told. Finally a man told us that if you wait you may be able to sleep in the medical building (I think he called it a hospital, but that is a bit of a stretch). We wait in front of the medical building and many of the town's people look at us, wondering who are these outsiders? The streets are unpaved and there is no electricity -- to give you an idea of what this mountain town is like. We are quite out of the ordinary to them. It is really getting dark, colder and rainy now and I feel happy to be way up on a mountain.

Two women are on their way past where we are parked, and stop to talk to the people in funny clothing. At first they do not believe we are three professors and so they ask to see identification. By flashlight we show them. Leon is such a charmer that before you know it these women are trying to find a place for us to stay. Leon is not a slippery charmer, he is genuinely charismatic. The women seem to finally decide that we are not with the Sendero Luminoso or Tupac Amaru, and walk off to ask at the church. It is raining and dark. Oh no, I am thinking, it looks like another night without dinner! Well, the women come back and tell us that we can sleep in the church! They climb in the car, even though they met us ten minutes ago, and we drive a moment to the church.

They tell us to bring our gear into the church, and, believe it or not, the women start making beds for us in the back room! We are so enthralled by the sight of dry beds that we ask if there is a restaurant at which we can buy them dinner. They hop in the pickup and show us the way. It is a drive down the road in the pouring rain, but we arrive at the restaurant and they have a generator for electricity. Lights! Smells of food! Leon and I are the only Caucasians. One of the women has brought her son with her, and Leon tells him that if he keeps drinking soda he will start his own huayco. Leon entertains them, keeping them laughing, and they seem to be pleased to have met this odd group of three. We slept very well in what must have been the quarters for visiting clergy. They seem to not use sheets, just coarse blankets, but that's all you need.

It is the next morning, and right near town (Cajacay) Segundo showed me a population of Jaltomata plants he once located while collecting in this area. I cannot believe my eyes (photo above). It is a new-to-science species!!!!! We want photographs first, and the sun is not quite high enough for that, so we take a piece of a plant and ask people about it. Oh yes, they say, we call that "musho" in the Quechua language, and everyone eats the fruits uncooked. It is a very prolific plant that no one deliberately plants, it just grows in our chacras (mountain farm plots). Now I am thinking, this is too much! A common species here on the mountain side, that everyone eats, that is unknown to science!!! An Indian woman comes walking along, and she is about 4 and a half feet tall and dressed in traditional attire. She seems not afraid, and I imagine her saying to herself, "any men walking around holding pieces of plants in front us locals, asking about the plants, cannot be Sendero Luminoso or Tupac Amaru." She takes quite a few moments to talk with us before moving on. Her 10 year old son, who looks about 6 or 7 to me because of the size difference between these people and us, sees that we are fascinated with one particular species. He then goes up the road and rips out of the ground a big shrub of the same species and brings it to us. The beautiful shrub he brought us became the type specimen. I gave him 2 Soles (about 75 cents) and he was ecstatic. Thomas Mione