Apple Of Sodom

Also known as:
Sea Apple, Thorny Apple
Family:
Solanaceae
Origin:
North Africa

General description

Spreading, woody, spiny, perennial shrub or subshrub <1m or more tall. Yellow spines & scattered hairs along stems. Leaves are deeply & irregularly divided into lobes, dark green on upper side, downy underneath. Small clusters of mauve or violet flowers (May-Sept). Poisonous green & white berries (apples) ripen to yellow.

Frost-free coastal sands, poor pasture, scrub margins.

Seeds spread by birds.

Forms dense stands in poor pasture & restricts recreational use of coastal areas. Not usually eaten by stock. Doesn’t present a problem to regenerating vegetation.

Site management

Exclude livestock as browsing limits native plant competition & weed colonises stock camps & dung patches. Many sites can be left untreated, allowing replacement by natural regeneration. Avoid soil disturbance, non-selective spraying & fire.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out small plants.
2. Cut or slash larger plants & stump paint (100ml Tordon BK/1L or 100ml triclopyr/1L).
3. Spray large plants spring - summer (60 ml Tordon BK/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

white-edged nightshade
Solanum marginatum

White-edged nightshade is rare, 3-5 m, tree-like, branches white-tomentose, leaves white beneath and on margins. Spines 15 mm, flowers white.

devil's fig
Solanum torvum

Devil's fig is a larger plant. It's leaves are less deeply lobed and it has white flowers.

RPMS status

Not a legally declared pest plant
apple of sodom - Main species image