T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Nicandra physaloides (Apple of Peru)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Nicandra
Species: N. physaloides
Binomial name: Nicandra physaloides
Common names: Apple of Peru and shoo-fly plant

This plant is poisonous
Visit http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-toxic-if-eaten-by-man.html

Nicandra is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family containing the single species Nicandra physaloides. It is a poisonous foul-smelling annual native to Peru, and it is known elsewhere as an introduced species and sometimes a weed. It is also kept as an ornamental plant. Found as a weed in waste placesand arable land.
Plants grow to 1 metre tall and are vigorous with spreading branches and ovate, mid-green, toothed and waved leaves.
The flowers are bell-shaped and 5 centimeters or more across, pale violet or blue with white throats. The flower becomes lantern-like towards the end of its bloom.
It has brown berries (1-2 cm) in a five sided net-viened fruit capsule, similer to a Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana).  
The plant is thought to have insect repellent properties. The genus is named for Greek poet Nicander, who wrote about plants.



Flower of the Apple of Peru


The flower has becomes lantern-like towards the end of its bloom.


The net viened swollen sepals containing a berry


Sepal opened up to show berry

The leaf of the Apple of Peru