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Useful Tropical Plants

Solanum aviculare

G.Forst.

Solanaceae


There is much confusion between this species and Solanum laciniatum. Some botanists unite the two under Solanum aviculare whilst others say that Solanum laciniatum is a tetraploid form of this species[
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
]. Solanum laciniatum is treated as a distinct species here.

+ Synonyms

Solanum baylisii Geras.

Solanum cheesemanii Geras.

Solanum glaberrimum Dunal

Common Name: Kangaroo Apple

Solanum aviculare
Plant growing in Queensland
Photograph by: © Lynn Bohs
Creative Commons License
Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare Solanum aviculare

General Information

Kangaroo apple is an evergreen shrub that can grow from 1 - 4 metres tall. A short-lived tree, with soft-wooded trunk and branches persisting for several years, becoming woody at the base and straggly with age[
435
Title
Solanaceae Source
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://solanaceaesource.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Incredible detail on all the species in Solanum (now also including the Tomatoes which were formerly in Lycopersicon). The site will eventually include all other Genera within the Solanaceae.
].
The edible fruit is gathered from the wild for local use. A very ornamental plant[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
], it has been cultivated for its edible fruit by the New Zealand Maoris[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
].

Known Hazards

All green parts of the plant are poisonous[
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
] and so is the unripe fruit[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
].
All Solanum species contain greater or lesser quantities of spirosolane alkaloids, including solanine and solanidine. These are bitter tasting and potentially poisonous when consumed frequently[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Botanical References

44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
435
Title
Solanaceae Source
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://solanaceaesource.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Incredible detail on all the species in Solanum (now also including the Tomatoes which were formerly in Lycopersicon). The site will eventually include all other Genera within the Solanaceae.

Range

Southeast Asia - Indonesia to Australia - Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria; and New Zealand.

Habitat

Coastal and lowland forest margins and shrubland on North South and Chatham Islands in New Zealand[
44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.
]. Disturbed areas in upland and mountain rain forest at elevations from 700 - 1,100 metres in Queensland[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height2.50 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Found from the warm temperate to usually higher elevations in the tropical zone.
Succeeds in most fertile soils in a sunny position[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
].
A fast-growing but short-lived plant[
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. It must be thoroughly ripe because the unripe fruit is poisonous[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
]. It can be used as a sweet fruit or as a vegetable[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
]. Best harvested once it has fallen from the plant, the fruit will then have lost its unpleasant acidity[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. It tastes much worse than it looks, the fruit is sickly sweet and often bitter[
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
]. The quality varies from plant to plant and even from year to year from the same plant[
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
]. The fruit is up to 2cm long and contains a large number of flat seeds[
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
].

Medicinal

The leaves are used for poultices[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

A source of steroids, much used in the pharmaceutical industry. The unripe berries are the richest source[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is often used as a hedge[
157
Title
Australian Native Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Wrigley. J. W. and Fagg. M.
Publisher
Collins. (Australia)
Year
1988
ISBN
0-7322-0021-0
Description
A lovely book, written in order to encourage Australian gardeners to grow their native plants. A little bit of information for the plant project.
].
Used as a rootstock for the tree tomato (Cyphomandra betacea)[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood. Very easy, the cuttings root within a couple of weeks.

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