Solanum viarum

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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: S. viarum
Scientific Name
Solanum viarum
Dunal
Common Names

tropical soda apple

Overview

Appearance
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.
Foliage
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.
Flowers
Flowering occurs year-round, with most reproduction occurring from September to May. White, 5-petaled flowers grow, in clusters, under the leaves.
Fruit
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.

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