Common name: Tropical Soda Apple
Solanum viarum Dunal APNI*
Description: Shrub to 1–2 m high, hairy with stellate and some simple glandular hairs on stems, leaves pedicels and calyxes; cream coloured prickles up to 12 mm long, scattered on most parts of plants.
Leaves ovate in outline, mostly 10–20 cm long, 6–15 cm wide, deeply to shallowly lobed; lobes 5–7, angular; ± concolorous, green, upper and lower surfaces densely covered in soft hairs; midveins and primary lateral-veins cream coloured on both sides of leaves; petiole 3–7 cm long.
Inflorescences 3–6-flowered; peduncle short; pedicels 10–15 mm long. Calyx 6–8 mm long; lobes 2–4 mm long. Corolla stellate, recurved at tips, 15–20 mm diam., white. Stamens cream coloured, appressed to style.
Berry 20–30 mm diam., immature fruit light green with white mottling, yellow when mature.
Flowering: Autumn to winter.
Distribution and occurrence: North Coast of NSW, near Kempsey. Native of South America.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *NWS
Potential to be a serious noxious weed. See http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/profiles/tropical-soda-apple for more information.
Text by Dr Andrew Perkins
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.