Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum) is a relatively “new” noxious weed to Australia . A native of South America, it has recently (ID confirmed August 2010) been located in various northern coastal areas of NSW. Plants have also been found inland at Tamworth and Inverell – believed to be the result of cattle movement.

Tropical soda apple is of the Solanum family. Solanum is one of the largest plant families. Apart from ordinary tomatoes, other common species of Solanum in Australia include weedy types like Narrawa burr (Solanum cinereum), Quena (Solanum esuriale), Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), apple of Sodom (Solanum linnaeanum) and barbwire weed (Solanum parvfolium).

They all share some identification features, one of the most common is the shape and colour of the fruit. This is evident in some of the example images included below…

Tropical soda apple is a Class 1 Noxious Weed and any plants found must be treated without delay. Landholders are urged to seek assistance from their local council weeds officer. Full information on identification and treatment of this important weed is available on the NSW DPI website.

 
 Solanum weed species – comparisons
NWW9501 Tropical soda apple - detail of leaf

NWW9501 Tropical soda apple – detail of leaf

 

NWW9502 Tropical soda apple - detail of fruit

NWW9502 Tropical soda apple – detail of fruit

 

NWW9505WX Tropical soda apple fruit and seed profile

NWW9505 Tropical soda apple fruit/seed profile

NWW9503WX-Tropical-soda-app

NWW9503WX Tropical soda apple fruit profile

NWW9504 Tropical soda apple plant Inverell NSW

NWW9504 Tropical soda apple plant Inverell NSW

NWW9506 Tropical soda apple - detail of leaf

NWW9506 Tropical soda apple – detail of leaf

NWW4403WX-Native-quena-fruit-Solanum-esuriale-r-LR-Tanner-Yelarbon-area

NWW4403 Native quena fruit Solanum esuriale

NWW4401 Native quena plant - Yetman NSW

NWW4401 Native quena plant – Yetman NSW

NWW46011 Silverleaf nightshade flower buds and thorns detail

NWW46011 Silverleaf nightshade flower buds and thorns detail

 

NWW4606 Silverleaf nightshade Solanum elaeagnifolium

NWW4606 Silverleaf nightshade plant detail – thistles

NWW1501 Narrawa burr plant detail

NWW1501 Narrawa burr plant detail

NWW1502 Narrawa burr Solanum cinereum plant

NWW1502 Narrawa burr Solanum cinereum plant

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this web site is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that information upon which they rely is up to date and to check currency of the information with the appropriate  – Les Tanner 18/08/2015