tropical soda apple USDA PLANTS Symbol: SOVI2
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub
Solanum viarum Dunal

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Solanales: Solanaceae
Native Range: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay ()

Tropical soda apple 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. Leaves are broad, 6-8 in. (15-20 cm) long, 2-6 in. (5.1-15.2 cm) wide, hairy and resemble fig or oak leaves. The entire plant is armed with ¾ in. (1.9 cm) long, straight prickles. Flowering occurs year-round, with most reproduction occurring from September to May. White, 5-petaled flowers develop, in clusters, below the leaves. Fruit are 1 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter and resemble a watermelon (a mottled mix of whitish and dark greens). Tropical soda apple primarily invades pastures, fields, and parks, but also has the potential to invade open forest and other natural areas. Tropical soda apple forms thick stands that can be impenetrable to livestock, large wildlife, and humans. Tropical soda apple is native to South America and was introduced accidentally into Florida in the 1980s.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Seedling(s);
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
James Rollins, , Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Flower, Fruit, Stem, and Foliage
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); flowers
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s);
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Thorny nightshade from Argentina, first appeared in the United States in pastures and rangelands in Glades County, Florida, in 1988. Mottled green fruits that look like small watermelons are a distinguising feature of the plant.
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); fruit in November
John W. Everest, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); In a pasture with cattle
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Growing out of a bag of cow manure, in 1991 ......
Randy Westbrooks, Invasive Species Prevention Specialist, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); root segment
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Grows well in sun and shade and is invading tree hammocks where it prevents cattle from seeking refuge from the sun in southern pastures.
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Frank Krainin, PPQ, studies plant after frost. In the spring, plant was confirmed as a herbaceous perennial, in Appling county. An early observation that TSA roots could survive the winter in Georgia.
Arthur E. Miller, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); Seeds. FNW taxon.
Julia Scher, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.


Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Archbold Biological Station
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council