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habit (photo: Biosecurity Queensland)
flower (photo: Biosecurity Queensland)
fruit and spines (photo: Biosecurity Queensland)
seeds (photo: Biosecurity Queensland)
Solanum viarum Dunal
Solanum chloranthum DC.; Solanum khasianum var. chatterjeeanum Sen Gupta; Solanum viridiflorum Schltdl.
tropical soda apple
Naturalised in north-eastern NSW and south-east Queensland (Coominya, Willowbank and Warwick), mainly in disturbed areas.
Disturbed areas and paddocks in a range of habitats.
An upright much-branched spreading prickly shrub, 0.5-2m high.
- Upright much-branched perennial shrub 0.5-2m high.
- Leaves and stems are armed with prickles up to 12 mm long.
- These prickles have a wide base.
- Leaves are 10-20cm long and 6-15cm wide and covered with short hairs.
- Flowers are white with five recurved petals and cream-coloured stamens.
- Immature fruits are mottled light and dark green like a watermelon.
- Mature fruits are smooth, round, yellow, and 1-3cm in diameter with a leathery skin surrounding a pale green, scented pulp.
- Fruits contain 180 to 240 seeds.
Stems and Leaves
Leaves and stems are armed with prickles up to 12 mm long. The prickles have a wide base. Leaves are 10–20cm long and 6–15cm wide and covered with short hairs.
Flowers and Fruit
The flowers are white with five recurved petals and white to cream-coloured stamens.
Immature fruits are mottled light and dark green like a watermelon. Mature fruits are smooth, round, yellow, and 1-3cm in diameter with a leathery skin surrounding a pale green, scented pulp. Fruits contain 180 to 240 seeds.
Reproduction and Dispersal
This species reproduces by seed, which are mainly spread by cattle and other fruit-eating animals and birds.
Potential to invade native open forest
Potentially invasive of pasture.
This species is declared under legislation in the following states and territories:
- New South Wales: Class 2 - a regionally
prohibited weed. The presence of the weed must be notified to the local
control authority and it must be eradicated from the land and the land
must be kept free of the plant (on Lord Howe Island only), and Class
3 - a regionally controlled weed. The relevant local control
authority must be promptly notified of the presence of this weed and it must
be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed (in a large number of local
authority areas). See the New South Wales Department of Primary
Industries Noxious Weeds List at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au for more
detailed information on which local areas are covered in these
- the Biosecurity Queensland Fact Sheet on this species, which is available online at http://www.daff.qld.gov.au.
- the New South Wales Department of Primary
Industries weed alert on this species, which is available online at
non-native species: Solanum torvum (Devil´s fig); Solanum chrysotrichum (Giant Devil´s fig); Solanum capsicoides (Devil´s apple); Solanum linnaeanum (Apple of Sodom)
native species: Solanum ditrichum A.R.Bean, which has prickles with a narrow base compared ot S. viarum which has prickles with a broad base. The distributions overlap.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. Identic Pty Ltd. Special edition of Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland.
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