tropical soda apple USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: SOVI2
Solanum viarum Dunal

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.

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