Solanum tampicense

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Authors: Karan Rawlins, Hillery Reeves and Kaylee Tillery at the Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia

Contents


0002142
Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. tampicense
Scientific Name
Solanum tampicense
Dunal
Common Names

wetland nightshade, aquatic soda apple

Overview

Appearance
Solanum tampicense is a sprawling, semi-woody shrub that invades wetlands in Florida. The green stems are up to 15 ft. (4.6 m) long and prickly.
Foliage
Leaves are alternate, to 10 in. (25 cm) long, 3 in. (7 cm) wide, wavy along the margins and have prickles on the veins.
Flowers
Solanum tampicense has small, white flowers occur in small clusters at the leaf axils during the summer to fall.
Fruit
The fruits are small tomato-like berries that turn bright red when ripe.
Ecological Threat
Solanum tampicense, being tolerant of full sun and full shade, can invade many types of wetland ecosystems such as cypress swamps and river edges. It is capable of forming extensive, dense stands that displace native vegetation. It is native to the West Indies and Central America. It was accidentally introduced into Florida. The ability of Solanum tampicense to form dense thickets that are difficult for other species to penetrate suggests this noxious weed has the potential to invade and alter many of Florida’s wetland habitats as well as impede access to and use of water resources (Fox and Wigginton, 1996; Fox and Bryson, 1998)

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