Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Solanum capsicoides
All., Solanaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 15 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Solanum aculeatissimum Jacq.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: niu qie zi

English: cockroach berry, devil's apple, love apple

Hawaiian: akaaka, akaka, kīkānia lei

Maori (Cook Islands): poro‘iti taratara, poro‘iti taratara

Samoan: polo su‘i ‘ula, polo su‘i ‘ula, polo ‘ula, polo ‘ula

Spanish: mata cucaracha

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Annual or short-lived shrubs up to 1 m tall, with numerous or scattered prickles on most parts, pale or straw-colored, the prickles up to 12 mm long, sparsely pilose with simple, few-celled hairs and minute glandular hairs.  Leaves entire, alternate, broadly ovate, up to 11 cm long and 10 cm wide, margins with 5-7 lobes divided 1/2 or less to midrib, apex acute or obtuse, base rounded to subcordate, petioles ca. 5 cm long.  Lower flowers perfect, upper flowers sometimes staminate, actinomorphic, 2-4 in clusters on short peduncles 3-4 mm long, arising from an internodal position, pedicels 1-1.5 cm long; calyx tubular, 2-3 mm long, the lobes broadly lanceolate, 2-3 mm long, apex acute; corolla white, deeply divided, the lobes ca. 10 mm long; stamens inserted near base of corolla tube; filaments 1-2 mm long, glabrous; anthers pale yellow, distinct, erect and cohering into a conical structure, 5-6 mm long, opening by apical pores; ovary sparsely pubescent above; style erect, 5-8 mm long; stigma green.  Berries bright orange scarlet when mature, the flesh white, dryish, depressed-globose, 2-3.5 cm in diameter.  Seeds numerous, flattened, bordered by a distinct narrow wing ca. 1.5 mm wide, 4-5 mm in diameter, testa minutely pitted"  (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1269-1270).

"Petite herbacée annuelle atteignant 1 m de hauteur, reconnaissable à ses tiges recouvertes d’épines, ses feuilles divisées en 5 à 7 lobes, ses fleurs blanches et ses petits fruits charnus ovoïdes de couleur orange vif à rouge"  (Meyer, 2008; p. 39).

Habitat/ecology:  Moist disturbed areas. In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in disturbed areas such as pastures, pond banks, along trails and in mesic forest and diverse mesic forest, 15-850 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1269-1270).  In Taiwan, "in wastelands, near roadsides, open forests, and thickets at 200-1500 m elevation"  (Digital Flora of Taiwan).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Eastern Brazil, widely grown for the ornamental fruit and now widely naturalized in tropical regions (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1269-1270).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 39, 43)
"Nous l’avons vu plantée comme ornementale dans un jardin de Hanga Roa" (Meyer, 2008; p. 39).
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 83)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: L. Dunn 313 (PAP)
Naturalized
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 40924)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum capsicoides
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2004) (voucher ID: PTBG 41903)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum capsicoides All.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 273)
Vouchers cited: BRY 26638, BRY 26628, BRY 26448
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 7779 (PAP)
Naturalisée. Ornementale pour ses fruits, restant longtemps sur les branches, rare.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11321 (PAP)
Cultivé comme ornementale, tend à se naturaliser.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1269-1270)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1269-1270)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1269-1270)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, R. T. (2000) (p. 8)
West Maui. Vouchers cited: Forbes 2467 m (BISH), Oppenheimer H29901 (BISH), O. Degener s.n. (BISH 69955), Crosby & Anerson 1838 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1269-1270)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1269-1270)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 11)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 8)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 69)
Voucher: Flynn 6854 (PTBG, US)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 261)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum capsicoides
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Tanna Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1977) (voucher ID: BISH 415785)
Taxon name on voucher: Solanum capsicoides All.
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. 340)
As Solanum aculeatissimum Jacq.
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Wastelands, near roadsides, open forests, thickets; 200-1500 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang, also cultivated in Henan and Liaoning.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 219)
In wasteland, thin forests and thickets.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 340)
As Solanum aculeatissimum Jacq.
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Wastelands, near roadsides, open forests, thickets; 200-1500 m.
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Ching-I Peng, ed. (2013)

Comments:  Becoming widespread on Tonga (Space & Flynn, 2001). Seen at Asau, Savai‘i, Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2002). Mostly present in cultivation in the Cook Islands (Space & Flynn, 2002).

Additional information:
Information from Solanaceae Source.

Additional online information about Solanum capsicoides is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Solanum capsicoides as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Solanum capsicoides may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1977. Voucher specimen #BISH 415785 (Krauss, N.L.H. 1463).

Charles Darwin Foundation. 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos, Ecuador.

Charles Darwin Research Station. 2005. CDRS Herbarium records.

Ching-I Peng, ed. 2013. Digital flora of Taiwan (online resource).

Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP). (online resource).

Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. John Wiley & Sons, New York. 391 pp.

Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. 2013. Flora of the Marquesas Islands. National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. Online database.

McCormack, Gerald. 2013. Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga.

Meyer, Jean-Yves. 2008. Rapport de mission d'expertise a Rapa Nui du 02 au 11 Juin 2008: Plan d'action strategique pour lutter contre les plantes introduites envahissantes sur Rapa Nui (Île de pâques) [Strategic action plan to control invasive alien plants on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) [unpublished report]. Délégation à la Recherche, Ministère de l'Education, l'Enseignement supérieur et la Recherche, B.P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti, Polynésie française. 62 pp. .

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2001. Voucher specimen #PTBG261(Tim Flynn 6854).

Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, R. T. 2000. New plant records from Maui, O‘ahu, and the Hawai‘i Islands. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucius G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 1999. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 64:1-10.

Space, James C./Flynn, Tim. 2001. Report to the Kingdom of Tonga on invasive plant species of environmental concern.  USDA Forest Service, Honolulu. 78 pp.

Space, James C./Flynn, Tim. 2002. Report to the Government of the Cook Islands on invasive plant species of environmental concern. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu. 146 pp.

Space, James C./Flynn, Tim. 2002. Report to the Government of Samoa on invasive plant species of environmental concern. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu. 83 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Welsh, S. L. 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. E.P.S. Inc., Orem, Utah. 420 pp.

Whistler, W. A. 2000. Plants in Samoan culture: The ethnobotany of Samoa. Isle Botanica. 234 pp. ISB: 0-9645426-6-8.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


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 8 JUN 2011.