Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Question of the Week – Tropical Soda Apple (TSA)

Posted by romeethredge on October 29, 2014

Boy, it’s a terrible pasture weed, Tropical Soda Apple (TSA). It’s on the Federal Noxious weed list.

It’s been bad in Florida for a while, and we’re trying to keep it at low levels in Georgia. It was first reported in the US in Glades county Florida in 1988.  It kind of takes over when it comes in. We usually see it in places where livestock or hay is unloaded or brought in from an area that has it.  We found some here years ago near the stockyard but all that has been eradicated.

I had some brought to me from a pasture where the cattleman had brought in some bulls from Florida a couple of years ago, so he suspects the TSA came in with them, perhaps. I went to the pasture to confirm the identification, and there were several plants near where hay is fed so it may have been brought in that way as well.

This weed looks a lot like horsenettle but it has white blooms and very big fruit, over an inch across. The fruit are mottled white and green, turning yellowish when mature. The leaves and plants are large, often growing over 3 feet high.

We need to be on the lookout for this weed and control it to reduce the spread.

The Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants  in Florida has some good info about this pest.

Here are several photos I took here in Seminole county this week.

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Here’s some info from Invasive.org

Solanum viarum (TSA) is a perennial, shrubby forb that is on the Federal Noxious Weed list. Plants grow to 6 ft. (1.8 m) in height and width. Leaves are broad, 6-8 in.  long, 2-6 in.  wide, hairy and resemble fig or oak leaves. The entire plant is loaded with 0.75 in. , straight prickles.

Flowering occurs year-round, with most reproduction occurring from September to May. White, 5-petaled flowers grow, in clusters, under the leaves. Fruit are 1 in. in diameter and resemble a watermelon. 

TSA invades pastures, fields, and parks, but also has the potential to invade open forest and other natural areas. This plant forms thick stands that can be impenetrable to livestock, large wildlife, and humans.

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Here is this week’s question.

What is this tree and why is it blooming now? Doesn’t it know winter is approaching? I took this photo last week here in Seminole county.

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One Response to “Question of the Week – Tropical Soda Apple (TSA)”

  1. Japanese Loquat

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