tropical soda apple

Solanales > Solanaceae > 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 3/4 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

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Seedling(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s);
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
James Rollins, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); flowers
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 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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Feature(s); Flower, Fruit, Stem, and Foliage
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Mature fruit
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); fruit in November
John W. Everest, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; In a field along with cattle
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 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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Infestation;
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 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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Plant(s); growing out of a bag of manure
Randy Westbrooks, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Federal Noxious Weed List
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • Arizona - Noxious Weed Law
  • California - Noxious Weed Law
  • Florida - EPPC list
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Massachusetts - Noxious Weed Law
  • Mississippi - Noxious Weed Law
  • Mississippi - 10 Worst Invasive Weeds
  • North Carolina - Noxious Weed Law
  • Oregon - Noxious Weed Law
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • South Carolina - Noxious Weed Law
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Tennessee - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Vermont - Noxious Weed Law
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia