Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Solanum torvum
Sw., Solanaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 24 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: shui qie

English: devil's fig, prickly solanum, susumber, terongan, turkeyberry

Fijian: kaisurisuri, kausoni, kauvotovotua, soni

French: aubergine sauvage épineuse, fausse aubergine

Hindi: bhankatiya, katai

Other: piko

Spanish: berenjena cimarrona

Tongan: tisaipale

Yapese: rawelnagafi

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Erect, much-branching perennial shrub up to 4 m in height.  Stems densely tomentose, armed with scattered prickles.  Leaves simple, alternate; blade ovate to elliptic in shape with an acute tip and rounded to oblique base, and mostly 5-20 cm long.  Leaf margins shallowly and irregularly lobed, upper leaf surface scabrous, lower surface, petioles, and pedicels densely tomentose, petiole about one-quarter as long as the blade.  Flowers in many-flowered corymbs borne at intervals on the stems.  Calyx with five acute lobes, tomentose; corolla sympetalous, deeply divided into five acuminate lobes, white, and 12-18 mm long.  Stamens five, yellow, epipetalous, and erect.  Fruit a many-seeded, green or yellow, glabrous, globose berry 10-15 mm in diameter"  (Whistler, 1983; p. 68).

Habitat/ecology:  "A major weed in pastures, roadsides and wasteland and also occurs in plantations, but not significantly in cultivated land.  It prefers moist, fertile soil, but will tolerate drought"  (Swarbrick, 1997; p. 18).  "In Puerto Rico, turkey berry grows in upland sites that receive from about 1000 to 4000 mm of annual precipitation. It also grows in riparian zones in drier areas. Turkey berry grows on all types of moist, fertile soil at elevations from near sea level to almost 1,000 m in Puerto Rico (Little and others 1974). Given an equal start after disturbance, turkey berry quickly overtops most herbs, grasses, and other shrubs. It grows best in full sunlight and does well in light shade or shade for part of the day, but cannot survive under a closed forest canopy. Turkey berry single plants, groups, and thickets are most frequently seen on roadsides, vacant lots, brushy pastures, recently abandoned farmland, landslides, and river banks"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).

"Infests pastures in solid stands that shade out undergrowth.  Because of spines, interferes with passage of people and animals"  (Motooka et al., 2003).  A weed of disturbed areas. Forms impenetrable thickets. In New Guinea, "a weed on grazing land; also at roadsides, forest edges, and sometimes frequent among the regrowth on abandoned gardens. From near sea level to almost 2000 m" (Henty & Pritchard, 1975; p. 151). In New Caledonia, "espèce gênante dans les fourrés secondaires" (MacKee, 1994; p. 133).

Propagation:  Frugivorous birds eat the berry and spread the seeds.

Native range:  West Indies, now a pantropical weed.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (pp. 7, 12)
Voucher: Flynn 6608 (PTBG, SAMOA)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1999) (voucher ID: PTBG 298)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 61)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1980) (voucher ID: BISH 660852)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1980) (voucher ID: PTBG 22752)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Waguk, Erick E. (2000) (p. 29)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 247)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1935) (voucher ID: BISH 182011)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Taveuni Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 10-11)
Vouchers cited: DA 11519, Weiner 71-7-17b
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Taveuni Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1971) (voucher ID: BISH 448520)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 10-11)
Vouchers cited: DA 9697, Smith 4306, Gibbs 840, im Thurn 273, DA 10163, DA 9771, DA L.9600, Smith 9071, DA L.9601, DA 9497, DA 11031, DA 3695, Smith 7024, DA 9982, DA 10584, DA L.9561, DA 13898
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1924) (voucher ID: BISH 17338)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 33902)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1957) (voucher ID: BISH 33903)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1960) (voucher ID: BISH 33904)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1953) (voucher ID: BISH 181920)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1947) (voucher ID: BISH 181921)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1941) (voucher ID: BISH 182012)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1953) (voucher ID: BISH 182013)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1937) (voucher ID: BISH 182014)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1927) (voucher ID: BISH 182015)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1964) (voucher ID: BISH 182016)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1940) (voucher ID: BISH 182017)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1927) (voucher ID: BISH 182018)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2591 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 699055)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1982) (voucher ID: PTBG 23241)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum cf. torvum Sw.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 65)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 61)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2003) (p. 32)
Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 010801-1 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (p. 48)
Voucher cited: D. Frohlich & A. Lau 2010040502 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1276)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Degener 23636 (NY, US)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Meidell, J. Scott/Bartlett, R. T. (1999) (p. 10)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer 305 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1276)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Abemama Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 247)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 247)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 103)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 97)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 100)
"Coastal, secondary"
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 383)
Espèce gênante dans les fourrés secondaires. Cité comme fléau en 1900.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1947) (voucher ID: BISH 182036)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Balabio introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 133)
Voucher cited: MacKee 29339
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 133)
Vouchers cited: Schlechter 15022, Le Rat 609, Däniker 18, H. Brinon 2 (NOU)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 133)
Voucher cited: MacKee 23596
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 37)
Voucher cited: Sykes 1126
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 6)
Not seen on this survey, probably no longer present.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 247)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 10, 86)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 17)
Voucher: Lorence 9914 (PTBG, BNM, BISH, NY, US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1941) (voucher ID: BISH 182104)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 207)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (pp. 494, 496)
Common in the Gazelle Peninsula in areas with pumice soil; not found on New Ireland.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) invasive
Henty, E. E./Pritchard, G. H. (1975) (p. 151)
From near sea level to almost 2000 m.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 428)
In open waste places at low and medium altitudes.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 37)
Voucher cited: Kuerschner s. n.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 8)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1984) (voucher ID: BISH 593159)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Mbanika Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 1002107)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Mbanika Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 1002143)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Mbanika Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 1002144)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 109)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
invasive
Shine, C./Reaser, J. K./Gutierrez, A. T., eds. (2003) (p. 166)
Dominant invader.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 9)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 74)
Voucher cited: Soakai 892 (EI)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 9)
Voucher: Flynn 6832 (PTBG, MO)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 74)
Vouchers cited: Lawrence 194, Ilolahia 134, Soakai 232
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 41179)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 41235)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 41242)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1978) (voucher ID: BISH 421402)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 253)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1989) (voucher ID: PTBG 3309)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 9)
Voucher: Flynn 6858 (PTBG, MO)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 259)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-13)
Vouchers cited: Starr & Starr 080601-02, Starr & Starr 080601-12
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Shine, C./Reaser, J. K./Gutierrez, A. T., eds. (2003) (p. 180)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis and Futuna Islands   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 37)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 7)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
China
China
China (People's Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 220)
In wasteland or along roadside.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 188)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 80)
Naturalised
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Ching-I Peng, ed. (2013)
"Roadsides and waste places at low elevation".
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (p. 29)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 38070)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum torvum Sw.
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 343)
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
invasive
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (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)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Alabama, Maryland
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) native
Francis, John K., ed. (2009)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) native
Francis, John K., ed. (2009)

Comments:  Reported present on Niue by Whistler (1988; p. 37) but not seen by Space & Flynn (2000).
Reported present on Abemama and Tarawa by Fosberg et al. (1979; p. 127) but not seen by Space & Imada (2004) in their survey of these islands; possibly eradicated.

A pest species in French Polynesia, Tonga and elsewhere.

Spreading in pastures and disturbed areas on Upolu, Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2002). 

On U.S. and State of Hawai‘i noxious species lists.

Control: 

Physical: Grubbing, but the entire plant must be removed. "Tolerant to fire. Unpalatable to stock because of thorns. Controlled by cultivation and grubbing" (Swarbrick, 1997; pp. 29-30).

Chemical: "Susceptible to translocated herbicides, including glyphosate, 2,4-D, picloram and triclopyr applied to the foliage for freshly-cut stumps at standard rates"  (Swarbrick, 1997; pp. 29-30). "Sensitive to foliar-applied triclopyr and soil-applied tebuthiuron"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Biological:  "Most organisms which are reported to attack S. torvum alsoattack other Solanum species of economic importance. However, the leaf-eating chrysomelid beetle Leptinotarsa undecimlineata, is reported to be host-specific and might be a useful control agent" (Waterhouse and Norris, 1987; pp. 350-354).

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


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 31 MAY 2011.