This section is from the book "The Florists' Manual", by William Scott. Also available from Amazon: The Florist's Manual.
This grand genus (for a genus that gives us the potato must be grand) contains some species that are used as ornamental plants.
I wonder why the universally used tuber is called the Irish potato. Perhaps it is because its jacket comes off so easy when it's hot, or perhaps Sir Walter Raleigh first introduced it at Cork. If he had overlooked it John Smith would have taken it to Europe, and if Sir Walter had gone exclusively into the potato business on his return, and not aspired to the hand of old Queen Elizabeth, he might have saved his head. But his head was of little consequence to future generations, and we have the potato that has sustained life among thousands.
In some rural districts they have potatoes as a steady diet, mostly with salt, and for a change without salt. I once took supper with a rural florist and the solid edibles consisted solely of fried potatoes and a blessing. The latter lighter commodity came first, so its inappropriateness was not so apparent. And with pleasure we look back to the evening and hope we may never want for a fine dish of potatoes. A volume could be written on the many ways of cooking potatoes in this their native land, but at a cheap boarding house of our first experience we do not think there was so much variation in the method of cooking as in the varieties of grease used.
The Jerusalem cherry, S. Capsicas-trum, is very ornamental when well grown. Select seeds from a compact growing plant, sow in February or March in a good heat and grow in 2-inch pots till frost is gone. Plant out on a light and rather poor soil. You don't want a vigorous growth, but want a dwarf, compact plant and plenty of flowers. If the fruit is set before you lift them, so much the better. They must have no frost. They come in finely for the holidays and will do in any greenhouse; when well berried they are very attractive and sell well, and can be sold cheaply, as they have occupied room on the benches but a short time. Pinch them when first planting out and again if they are growing straggling.
There is another very ornamental species, regarding the specific name of which I am not certain. It is known among florists as the celestial pepper. It must be S. aviculare. The fruit is large, oblong in shape, and on the same plant varies from green and white to orange red. Small, well berried plants of tins species have had a great sale. When any of these peppers are grown large, requiring a large pot, their usefulness is gone. Seeds of the celestial pepper should be sown in April and planted out late in June. They will then be more likely to flower and fruit when small. If planted early they would make too strong a growth. Give them a light soil and of course lift before there is any danger of frost.