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Solanum aviculare - G.Forst.

Common Name Kangaroo Apple, New Zealand nightshade
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards All green parts of the plant are poisonous[154] and so is the unripe fruit[173].
Habitats Coastal and lowland forest margins and shrubland on North South and Chatham Islands in New Zealand[44].
Range Australia, New Zealand.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Solanum aviculare Kangaroo Apple, New Zealand nightshade


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Berichard
Solanum aviculare Kangaroo Apple, New Zealand nightshade

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Solanum aviculare is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to October, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Solanum laciniatum Aiton

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 173]. It must be thoroughly ripe because the unripe fruit is poisonous[2, 46, 153, 154]. It can be used as a sweet fruit or as a vegetable[61]. Best harvested once it has fallen from the plant, the fruit will then have lost its unpleasant acidity[183]. It tastes much worse than it looks, the fruit is sickly sweet and often bitter[193]. The quality varies from plant to plant and even from year to year from the same plant[193]. The fruit is up to 2cm long and contains a large number of flat seeds[193].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Miscellany.

A source of steroids, much used in the pharmaceutical industry. The unripe berries are the richest source[153, 173].

Other Uses

Hedge;  Hedge;  Miscellany.

In warmer climates than Britain this plant is often used as a hedge[157].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most fertile soils in a sunny position[182]. Tolerates temperatures down to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[157] but is not very hardy in Britain. It sometimes succeeds as a shrub outdoors in the mildest areas of the country[166] but is more usually cut to the ground by winter cold. It can, however, be grown at the foot of a warm sunny wall and be treated as a herbaceous perennial. As long as the roots are given a good mulch in autumn they should survive quite cold winters[1, 166]. Alternatively, it is possible to grow the plant as an annual. If the seed is sown in early spring in a warm greenhouse and planted out after the last frosts it can fruit in its first year though yields will be lower than from plants grown as perennials[K]. A very ornamental plant[1], it has been cultivated for its edible fruit by the New Zealand Maoris[153]. It is a fast-growing but short-lived plant[193]. There is much confusion between this species and S. laciniatum. Some botanists unite the two under S. aviculare whilst others say that S. laciniatum is a tetraploid form of this species[50]. S. laciniatum is treated as a distinct species here.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. Germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing the plants as annuals, plant them out after the last expected frosts and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing well. If growing as a perennial, especially in areas at the limits of its cold-hardiness, it will probably be better to grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Give them fairly large pots (12cm or larger) because they have very strong root growth. Top growth might die back over winter, but the roots should survive if temperatures in the greenhouse do not fall below about -5°c. Plant them out in early summer of the following year. The plants will be somewhat hardier in their second winter. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very easy, the cuttings root within a couple of weeks. Pot them up in fairly large pots and overwinter them in the greenhouse before planting out in early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
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Solanum americanumAmerican Nightshade, American black nightshade10
Solanum andigenumAndigena20
Solanum boreale 10
Solanum boyacense 10
Solanum cari 10
Solanum carolinenseHorse Nettle, Carolina horsenettle02
Solanum chauchaChaucha10
Solanum curtilobumRucki20
Solanum dulcamaraBittersweet. Bittersweet Nightshade, Climbing nightshade, Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade, Poisonous03
Solanum fendleriWild Potato, Fendler's horsenettle, Texan horsenettle32
Solanum jamesiiColorado Wild Potato, Wild potato20
Solanum juzepczukiiRucki20
Solanum kurzii 10
Solanum laciniatumKangaroo Apple22
Solanum linearifoliumMountain Kangaroo Apple20
Solanum liximitante 10
Solanum luteum 10
Solanum lycopersicumTomato, Garden Tomato53
Solanum lyratum 12
Solanum maglia 20
Solanum melongenaAubergine, Eggplant32
Solanum muricatumPepino40
Solanum nigrumBlack Nightshade, Common Nightshade, Poisonberry, Black Nightshade22
Solanum paniculatumJurubeba, Nightshade04
Solanum phurejaPhureja, Nightshade30
Solanum piliferum 20
Solanum pimpinellifoliumCurrant Tomato42
12

 

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Expert comment

Author

G.Forst.

Botanical References

44200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

ken girard   Mon Jul 17 2006

Where can I get seeds? I live in Canada, but since it is a tender plant in our climate, seeds should be able to be mailed without difficulty. Thanks Ken Girard

ian   Mon Oct 30 2006

The plant is also used in the manufacture of some contraceptive pills

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Subject : Solanum aviculare  
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