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

Solanum linnaeanum (Apple of Sodom)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. linnaeanum
Binomial name: Solanum linnaeanum
Synonyms: Solanum astrophorum, Solanum hermannii, Solanum mccannii, Solanum sodomeum, Solanum sodomeum var. hermannii, Solanum sodomeum var. mediterraneum, Solanum undatum, Solanum undatum, Solanum lycocarpum, Solanum undatum var. violaceum
Common names: Devil's Apple, Apple of Sodom.

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

Solanum linnaeanum is a poisonous nightshade species. It is native to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and is now an invasive species in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Fiji, New Caledonia, and other Pacific Islands.
Solanum linnaeanum is a spreading shrub that grows to up to 1.4 m in height. It has bright green leaves are 5-12.5 cm long, 2.8-8 cm wide and have 3-4 deep rounded lobes on each side of the midrib. The stems and leaves are covered with prickles that are straight, broad at the base and up to 13 mm long.
It develops clusters of flowers that are predominantly purple but have yellow anthers and a green calyx.
It bears fleshy tomato-like fruit (23-30 mm in diameter) that are first green and but turn a bright yellow when mature. The seeds are brown to black
Its habit is frost free coastal sands and inland poor pastures. It is only found in North Island from Northland south to Taranaki and Hawkes Bay.
It is dispersed by seed but dispersal is not rapid because very few animals eat the fruits and hence ingest the seeds. It also spreads by rhizomes.

The fruit in this photo is still green, it will turn a bright yellow.

A ripe fruit

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/