(Solanum sodomaeum = Solanum linnaeum)
Apple-of-Sodom, photograph: M. Bleeker

Status of apple-of-Sodom in Tasmania

  • Apple-of-Sodom is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of apple-of-Sodom are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with apple-of-Sodom are laid out in the apple-of-Sodom Statutory Weed Management Plan.

What does apple-of-Sodom look like?

  • Apple-of-Sodom is an erect spreading shrub growing to 1 metre high. The stems are green, purple or brown with numerous straight or slightly curved prickles and minute star-shaped hairs. The leaves are deeply lobed and armed with prickles along the leaf stalk and upper and lower leaf veins. The leaves also have minute star-shaped hairs, mainly on the lower surface. The flowers are purple to white with five fused petals. The fruit is a globular berry, green with white mottling at first, yellow when ripe.
  • Seeds germinate in spring. Flowering and fruiting extends from late spring to the end of summer.
  • Spread is by seed. Because the fruit or seeds are not eaten by birds or animals, dispersal is limited to the fruit falling from the plant and being blown or dragged a short distance.

Impacts of apple-of-Sodom

  • Apple-of-Sodom is a weed of unimproved pastures and coastal areas.
  • Infestations replace native plants, harbour vermin and restrict access. Whilst younger plants are susceptible to cultivation, older ones are harder to deal with, being unpalatable to virtually all animals as well as being poisonous.

Where does apple-of-Sodom occur?

  • Apple-of-Sodom is a native of the Mediterranean region and southern Africa. On mainland Australia, apple-of-Sodom has naturalised in all states.
  • Apple-of-Sodom has not naturalised in Tasmania.

What you need to do

  • If you locate apple-of-Sodom anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be apple-of-Sodom, immediately contact contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Statutory Management Plan for Apple-of-Sodom
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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