Evans, C.W., C.T. Bargeron, D.J. Moorhead & G.K. Douce. 2005. The Bugwood Network, The University of Georgia.
Tropical soda apple
Solanum viarum Dunal
Tropical soda apple is a perennial shrubby forb, growing to 6 feet in height and width. Leaves are broad and somewhat resemble fig or oak leaves. The entire plant is armed with 3/4 inch long, straight prickles. Flowers have five, white, recurved petals. The most distinguishing feature of tropical soda apple is its round fruit, which is a mottled mixture of whitish and dark greens that resembles a watermelon. Mature fruit are yellow in color and 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Tropical soda apple is native to South America and was introduced accidentally into America, being found in Florida in 1988. It is currently found throughout Florida and sporadically elsewhere in the Southeast. Tropical soda apple is sparsely located in Georgia, but has the potential to become widespread and very problematic.
Tropical soda apple invades primarily pastures, fields, and parks, but also has the potential to invade open forest and other natural areas. It was included on the federal noxious weed list in 1995. The seeds are readily eaten by livestock and wildlife and dispersal occurs both by the animals as well as in contaminated manure, hay, seed and sod. Tropical soda apple forms thick stands that can be impenetrable to livestock, large wildlife, and humans. Once established, dispersal to others areas can be rapid.
Tropical soda apple is a federal noxious weed; any occurence should promptly reported.
Recommended herbicides for control:
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Last updated on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at 05:09 PM
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