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Tropical Soda Apple

Solanum viarum Dunal

Description:

Mature plants of Solanum viarum are 1 - 2m tall and are armed on the leaves, stems, pedicles, petioles and calyxes with broad-based white to yellowish thorn-like prickles up to 1cm long. Leaves and stems are pubescent; flowers are white with five recurved petals and white to cream-coloured stamens. The immature fruits are mottled light and dark green like a watermelon. The mature fruits are smooth, round yellow, and 1 to 3cm in diameter with a leathery skin surrounding a thin-layered, pale green, scented pulp and 180 to 420 flattened, reddish-brown seeds.

Habitat:

S. viarum has been observed as a common weed in pastures, ditch banks, citrus groves, sugarcane fields, and wet areas of rangeland. S. viarum is typically found in soils belonging to the order of spodosols (nearly level, somewhat poorly drained sandy soil with a spodic horizon 1 -2m below the soil surface).

Notes:

This plant has started showing it concurrency in recent years in the area around Kasauli. Geographical range Native range: S. viarum is native to parts of South America. Known introduced range: S. viarum has become a weed in other areas of South America and in Africa, India, Nepal, the West Indies, Honduras, Mexico, and recently in the U.S. Introduction pathways to new locations Agriculture: Contaminated hay, seeds, and bags of manure for composting also serve as a means of its dispersal.

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SanjaySaklani
Spotted by
SanjaySaklani

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Spotted on Feb 17, 2012
Submitted on Feb 17, 2012

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Reference