Scientific Name:
Solanum linnaeanum Hepper & P.-M.L.Jaeger, Kew Bull. 41 (1986)
  • = Solanum hermannii Dunal nom. illeg. – as Hermanni
  • = Solanum sodomeum L. nom. rej.
Vernacular Name(s):
Apple of Sodom; Dead Sea apple; Popola

Perennial shrub or subshrub to 1–(3) m tall, ± stellate-hairy, branched, strongly armed; prickles yellow, to c. 1 cm long, glabrous or nearly so. Petioles to c. 5 cm long, prickly. Lamina to c. 9–(20) × 7–(13) cm, ovate to oblong, deeply pinnatisect, scarcely lobed in seedlings; lobes irregular, sinuate, with rounded apices, extending to ⅞ to midrib, with hairs scattered above and ± dense below, sometimes glabrate except for prickles on midrib and main veins; base truncate to rounded. Cymes few-flowered; pedicels to c. 1 cm long, densely stellate-hairy, ± pendent at fruiting; peduncle densely stellate-hairy. Calyx 3–12 mm long, often densely stellate-hairy, sometimes prickly, accrescent; lobes ovate to oblong, c. = tube. Corolla (2)–2.5–3.5–(4) cm diam., mauve or violet, stellate-hairy outside; lobes broadly ovate. Anthers 4–6 mm long. Berry 1.5–3–(3.5) cm diam., globose or nearly so, mottled green and white when immature, yellow at maturity; stone cells 0. Seeds c. 3 mm diam., subglobose to broad-obovoid.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Sep.–May.

Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database.
Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington. [as Solanum sodomeum L.]
Hepper, F.N. & Jaeger, P.-M.L. 1986: Names changes for two old world Solanum species. Kew Bulletin 41(2): 435.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.
Stewart, J. 1971: Plants in New Zealand Poisonous to Man. New Zealand Department of Health, Wellington. [as Solanum sodomeum L.]