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- Gale Heide
About SolanaceaeAbout Tropical soda apple
Tropical soda apple, Solanum Viarum Dunal is a plant with flowers that makes small fruits. It belongs to Solanaceae or Nightshade family. This family also contains potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes. This plant is native to Brazil and Argentina and it was discovered in the United States also in 1988. In 1994 was listed as a noxious weed in Florida. And in 1995 was added to federal Noxious Weed list. These plants can reach six feet in height and have sturdy, prickly stems. Tropical soda apple is producing roughly 40,000 to 50,000 seeds per plant. It grows from 3 to 6 feet tall. The most effective means of controlling Tropical soda apple is the prevention of fruit production. Fruits are globular in shape. The immature fruits color is green and white mottled or light and dark-green mottled. And fruits’ color at maturity is yellow. Them leaves and stems are covered with short hairs very densely.Tropical soda apple is known to grow in undisturbed wetlands.It’s flowers are small and white with yellow shapes, with 5 petals that are about 2-4mm long. The reproduction is made via seeds. Tropical soda apple is declared a Class 2 or 3 noxious weed throughout NSW. The fruits of this plants contains solasodine which is poisonous for humans. The current extent of that infestation is about 50 ha. In the past several years, multiple sites of Tropical soda apple have been found in Georgia and Mississippi. It is a perennial shrub in it’s family. The stems and leaves are hairy and leaf margins are divided into broad lobes. Leave may be up to 8 inches long and up to 6 inches wide. The leaves, stems, flowers stalks, and flower bases are covered with white and yellow spines of different lengths.
Tropical soda apple is knows to be introduced into new areas by three means. Cattle are known to consume the fruit when feeding in contaminated areas in Florida. The seed pass through cows and are excreted in their feces. Movement of such livestock from infested areas to areas in and through Europe, and Romania has resulted in new infestation sites. Do not eat these fruits, they are poisonous!