Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum)

Tropical soda apple Description: Currently a federally listed noxious weed in the United States.

Habit: Erect perennial growing 50-150 cm. high.

Leaves: Broadly ovate, up to 20 cm. long and 15 cm. wide, bluntly lobed, undulate edges; dark green in color, glossy above, duller below.

Stems: Shortly pubescent with recurved prickles up to 5mm. long.

Flowers: White in color, 1.5 cm. across, borne in clusters of 1-5 pedicles about 1 cm. long; distal flowers most often male. 3-5 mm. long sepals, white corolla, narrow with reflexed petals, pale yellow anthers.

Fruit and seeds: Globose berry, mottled green when young, turning yellow when mature. 2-3 cm. across, contains up to 400 brown, flattened, discoid seeds, 2-3 mm. in diameter.

Habitat: Native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Can be found in pastures, citrus plantations, sugarcane and vegetable fields, turf fields and roadsides.

Reproduction: By seed and by shoots from its extensive root system. Capable of producing 40,000-50,000 seeds per plant.

Monitoring and rapid response: Possession, movement and release is prohibited in the United States. This plant is difficult to control but small populations and individual plants can be hand pulled and burned. Roots must be completely removed due to regrowth. Larger populations require repeat mowing and/or applications of herbicides/bioherbicides. The use of Gratiana boliviana as biological control has been shown to be effective with small infestations.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the CABI: Invasive Species Compendium and the US Forest Service FEIS:SOLVIA

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the Bugwood.org network (http://www.invasive.org). Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (http://images.google.com).


Common Name:

Tropical soda apple

Scientific Name:

Solanum viarum

Family:

Solanaceae
(Potato)

Duration:

Perennial

Habit:

Shrubs

USDA Symbol:

SOVI2