Solanum sisymbriifolium

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam.
  • Synonyms : Solanum sisymbriifolium f. lilacinum Kuntze
  • Common Name : Dense-Thorn Bitter-Apple, Red Buffalo-Bur, Sticky Nightshade, Wild Tomato, Fire and Ice Plant, Litchi Tomato
  • Plant Family : Solanaceae
  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Solanum sisymbriifolium Plant :

  • Habit : An annual erect, rhizomatous herb with stem and branches viscid, hairy and armed with flat, orange-yellow spines.
  • Leaves : Very prickly, sticky, ovate to lanceolate, petiolate, pubescent both above and below with stellate and glandular hairs, pinnately divided into 4-6 coarse lobes.
  • Inflorescence : Racemes
  • Flowers :
    • White, light blue or mauve coloured with hairy calyx.
    • Erect, converging anthers and ovary is puberulent with a style.
  • Fruit : Red, succulent, globular berries with pale yellow seeds.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : November - January
  • Significance :
    • It can be used as a hedge plant to keep animals out of a garden because it is covered with prickles.
    • It is best known for its use as a trap crop for potato cyst nematodes.
    • The fruit is also a source of solasodine, a glycoalkaloid used in the synthesis of corticosteroids and sex hormones, and a large component of oral contraceptives.