Tropical Soda Apple (TSA)
This week's weed is the Tropical Soda Apple. It is classified as a PROHIBITED species. It is a prickly perennial shrub with yellow fruit. It can be invasive and also host various plant viruses.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Upright, multi-branched perennial shrub 0.5-2m high
- Large lobed leaves covered in short hairs and thorn-like prickles up to 12mm long
- Flowers are white with five recurved petals and white-cream stamens
- Fruits are 1-3cm diameter smooth, round with immature fruit being watermelon-like mottled light & dark green and mature fruit turning yellow-pale green with scented pulp.
- Prefers open, disturbed, compacted pasture sites often around cattle yards in high-rainfall habitats.
WHY IT'S BAD
- Invades, competes and replaces pasture and can form thickets which are impenetrable due to thorns
- Each plant can produce 50,000 seeds with fruit being readily eaten by stock, spreading seeds and promoting rapid germination
- Leaves are unpalatable to livestock
- It is host to many viruses that affect various vegetable crop species.
WHAT TO DO
- All sightings MUST be reported to Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) within 24hrs.
- Please phone 132 523 and advise BQ of its location
- You must NOT keep, move, give away, sell or release this plant into the environment. Penalties may apply.