Solanum torvum

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

Contents


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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: torvum
Scientific Name
Solanum torvum
Sw.
Scientific Name Synonym
Solanum ficifolium
Swartz
Common Names

turkeyberry, turkey berry, devil's fig, turkeyberry

Overview

Appearance
Solanum torvum Turkey berry is a broadleaved, evergreen, shrub or small tree that invades a variety of ecosystems in Florida. Plants can grow to 16 ft. (4.9 m) in height. The stems are armed with stout, straight or lightly curved prickles.
Foliage
The alternate leaves are elliptical. Leaves are up to 10 in. (25 cm) long, 3 in. (7 cm) wide, wavy along the margins and have prickles on the veins.
Flowers
Solanum torvum has small, white flowers that occur in large, branched clusters. Plants flower continuously after reaching a height of 3.3-4.9 ft. (1-1.5 m).
Fruit
The fruits are small green berries that turn yellow when ripe.
Ecological Threat
Although Solanum torvum has only been found several times in Florida, it has the potential to invade a variety of sites, both wet and dry. Once established, it can sprout from the roots, creating large thickets that could displace native vegetation. Solanum torvum is found throughout the world’s tropical regions and was introduced into Florida sometime before 1900 for cultivation trials.

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