A QUIRKY plant that grows tomatoes and potatoes at the same time is taking the public by storm.

Cardwell Garden Centre is the only centre in Scotland stocking the TomTato plants.

Staff are constantly being asked if it’s a joke, or a late April Fool stunt.

But they’re definitely for real and customers have been flocking to snap them up.

Paul Carmichael, retail manager at Cardwell, said: “I suppose you could say people are coming to Cardwell and buy the plant so they can grow their own chips and tomato sauce!

“We’ve had an incredible reaction from people who think we’re winding them up.

“But when it’s explained to them they think the TomTato plant is amazing.”

The unique vegetable and fruit plant has been created by naturally hand-grafting a tomato plant on to the stem of a potato plant.

In just over a month, the first tomatoes can be harvested from the plant and in three months, potatoes can then be dug out of the soil the plant has been growing in.

Developed over the past 15 years by horticulturists Thompson and Morgan, the TomTato plant can grow up to 500 sweet-tasting cherry tomatoes and yield up to two kilograms of white potatoes that can be boiled, roasted, mashed or even used to make chips.

The TomTato plants can be grown in the ground as well as in large 40 litre plant pots in small gardens, or even in patios and the balconies of tenements or high-rise flats.

Mr Carmichael said: “We’re the only garden centre in Scotland being supplied with these plants by Thompson and Morgan and we’re excited about having such an unusual plant for our customers.”