Authors: Karan Rawlins, Hillery Reeves and Kaylee Tillery at the Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia
tropical soda apple
- Solanum viarum is a perennial, shrubby forb that is on the Federal Noxious Weed list. Plants grow to 6 ft. (1.8 m) in height and width.
- Leaves are broad, 6-8 in. (15.2-20.3 cm) long, 2-6 in. (5.1-15.2 cm) wide, hairy and resemble fig or oak leaves. The entire plant is loaded with 0.75 in. (1.9 cm), straight prickles.
- Flowering occurs year-round, with most reproduction occurring from September to May. White, 5-petaled flowers grow, in clusters, under the leaves.
- Fruit are 1 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter and resemble a watermelon.
- Ecological Threat
- Solanum viarum invades pastures, fields, and parks, but also has the potential to invade open forest and other natural areas. This plant forms thick stands that can be impenetrable to livestock, large wildlife, and humans.
- Waggy, Melissa A. 2009. Solanum viarum, Fire Effects Information System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory
- Global Invasive Species Database. 2011. Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission
- University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth (IPAMS)
- Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council
- Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
- Flora of China, www.eFloras.org
- USDA NRCS PLANTS
- USDA ARS GRIN
Images from Bugwood.org