Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Solanum tampicense
Dunal, Solanaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Solanum houstonii Dunal

Common name(s): [more details]

English: aquatic soda apple, wetland nightshade

Spanish: espina de manglar, salsita de agua

Habit:  aquatic herb

Description:  "Shrub, 1 to 2 meters high, the branches armed with stout recurved prickles; leaves petiolate, oblong or oblong-ovate, 13 cm long or less, obtuse or acute, cuneate at base, irregularly lobate, sparsely stellate-pubescent; flowers in axillary umbels or racemes; corolla white, 6 to 11 mm long; fruit red, 6 or 7 mm in diameter, glabrous"  (Standley, 1924; p. 1298).

"A small, woody vine, the stems glabrate, bearing a few minute, sessile-stellate hairs when young, sparsely to densely armed with prickles, the prickles short and recurved; leaves in pairs or solitary, sinuately-lobed to parted, the larger leaves oblong to lance-oblong, 5.5-16 cm long, 2.2-5.5 cm wide, the apex acute, the base attenuate, prickly below and often on the mid-vein above, sparsely pubescent throughout, the hairs sessile-stellate and often with the central ray much longer than the lateral ones above, the hairs sessile-stellate and with subequal rays below; petioles glabrous or sessile stellate-pubescent, 5-15 mm long, often armed with a few long prickles; inflorescences lateral and opposite the leaves, cymose, sessile or subsessile; pedicels glabrous or sparsely sessile stellate-pubescent, 5-8 mm long, recurved in age; calyx 1.5-2 mm long, the lobes mucronate, shallowly lobed in age, nearly always armed with prickles, glabrous or sometimes sparsely sessile stellate-pubescent; corolla white to yellowish-white, the limb 12-14 mm wide, parted nearly to the base, the lobes 5-6 mm long, ciliate and sparsely sessile stellate-pubescent externally; filaments about 1 mm long; anthers 3.5-4 mm long; style 5-6 mm long, glabrous, ovary glabrous; fruit globose, red, 8-8.5 mm in diameter; seeds 2-2.5 mm long."  (Gentry and Standley, 1974; pp. 122-123).

Habitat/ecology:  "Forests, riparian habitats, freshwater wetlands, swamps.  The often interlocking stems of this shrub lead to dense thickets that my cover large areas and smother all native vegetation.  The plant can become the dominant understorey species of cypress swamps.  The plant grows both in full shade and full sun"  (Weber, 2003; p. 409).

Tropical wetlands. In Florida (US) it is an invader of cypress swamps and other wetlands.

Propagation:  Seeds and stem sections. Fruit is a berry like a small tomato, containing 10-60 seeds.  "In sunny conditions, the plant produces fruits abundantly.  Seeds as well as stem fragments are dispersed by streams.  Stems can form adventitious roots at the nodes, and the plant regrows from the crown if damaged"  (Weber, 2003; p. 409).

Native range:  Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Presence:

Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  A declared noxious weed in the U.S. Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Miami-Dade County Dept. of Planning and Zoning, 2010).

Control: 

Biological:  Biological control information from the publication "Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States".


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.