Season 2, Episode 1: Tropical Soda Apple
Tropical Soda Apple has become a major weed in multiple countries around the world – listen in to hear about what makes it such a threat to the North Coast, and what you can do if you think you find it.
Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum), is an aggressive, prickly, perennial shrub 1–2 m high. It invades open to semi-shaded areas, particularly pastures and riparian zones, but also forests, roadsides, recreational areas, and horticultural and cropping areas. It reduces biodiversity by displacing native plants and disrupting ecological processes. Its foliage is unpalatable to livestock, thus reducing carrying capacities, however cattle eat the fruit and spread viable seeds in manure. Thorny thickets of this plant create a physical barrier for animals preventing access to shade and water. The plant is a host for many diseases and pests of cultivated crops, and it contains solasodine which is poisonous to humans 1.