Solanum torvum - Sw.
Turkey-berry
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Solanum torvum Sw. (TSN 30460)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160576
Element Code: PDSOL0Z3N0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Potato Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Solanales Solanaceae Solanum
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Solanum torvum
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Aug1993
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Reasons: Native of West Indies.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Florida (SNA), Hawaii (SNA), Maryland (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Throughout the tropics, MX, C. and S. America.

Population Size Comments: Common in Jamaica.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Throughout the tropics, MX, C. and S. America.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, FLexotic, HIexotic, MDexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Shrubby dicot, Solanaceae.
Habitat Comments: Woodland clearings, thickets, waste places, roadsides, and swamps at 50-4200 feet.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Solanum torvum is a subtropical/tropical shrub with a limited U.S. range. It is most abundantly established in southern Florida, where it occurs in at least 6 counties, as well as having scattered establishment in central and northern Florida (at least 3 counties total), Mobile County, Alabama, Washington County, Mississippi, O'ahu and Maui, Hawai'i, and perhaps one site in Maryland. This species predominantly invades human-disturbed open sites, is more rarely found on naturally disturbed sites such as landslides, riverbanks, and forest clearings, and also invades swamps. Despite placement on the federal noxious weed list and on several state noxious lists, some cultivation, especially in Florida, continues, as a yard plant and for its sharp-tasting immature fruits. Most significant impacts on native biodiversity probably occur as a result of the species' ability to form large, impenetrable thickets, which can displace native species and alter vegetation structure in formerly open areas. This species is widely known as a pantropical weed. Because it appears to have greater impacts on biodiversity in other regions (e.g. Australia), it may have more significant impacts in the U.S. in the future, as it increases its range and local abundance. However, it has been cultivated in Florida since 1900, so it is also possible that its impact will not increase in the future.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 30Dec2005
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Central and South America and the Caribbean, including southern Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Colombia, Ecuador, Antigua, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines (GRIN 2001).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999)

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Predominantly invades human-disturbed, open sites, such as roadsides, waste places, pastures, and old fields (Small 1933, Wunderlin 1982, Langeland and Burks 1998, Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, FLEPPC 2005); more rarely found on naturally disturbed sites such as landslides, riverbanks, open native vegetation, and forest clearings and edges (Cuda et al. 2002, Francis 2003, Scher 2004, PIER 2005). Forest habitats within which it has been found include hardwood forest (e.g. hammocks or tree islands) and maritime forest (FLEPPC 2005). Also invades swamps (Small 1933, Langeland and Burks 1998, Scher 2004, FLEPPC 2005).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: Although this species has been naturalized since at least the 1930s (Small 1933), no reports of impacts on ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters were found. Also, although it is naturalized throughout the tropical regions of the world, no mention was found of impacts in these areas. Therefore, assume impacts insignificant.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: This species is a shrub that has been noted to form large, impenetrable thickets (Langeland and Burks 1998, Cuda et al. 2002, Scher 2004, Bugwood Network et al. 2005, PIER 2005). Because it predominantly invades open sites, these thickets may often add a new layer to the vegetation. However, in other invaded habitats, such as forest edges and swamps, the thickets probably form within an existing shrub layer and therefore cause less significant changes.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Given an equal start after disturbance, this species has been recorded to overtop other herbs, grasses, and shrubs (Francis 2003). Thickets created by this species may displace native vegetation (Medal et al. 2002, Bugwood Network et al. 2005), and the often impenetrable nature of these thickets may impede the natural passage of wildlife (Scher 2004).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not significant.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Because this species predominantly invades disturbed habitats, assumption is that it does not often threaten species or communities of conservation significance. Some of the Florida swamp habitats it invades may have some conservation significance, but there was no evidence that these areas represent high-quality swamp communities.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Low significance
Comments: A subtropical/tropical species with a limited U.S. range. Most abundantly established in southern Florida, where it occurs in at least 6 counties (Langeland and Burks 1998). Also more scattered establishment in central and northern Florida (at least 3 counties total, Cuda et al. 2002), as well as in Mobile County, AL and Washington County, MS (Kartesz 1999). Apparently recorded in MD in the early 1960s (Kartesz 1999). In Hawai'i, it is established on O'ahu and Maui (Wagner et al. 1999). Altogether, range occupies <5% of U.S. land area.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Reported from 3 natural areas in Broward and Collier counties, FL (Langeland and Burks 1998); also reported from less-disturbed habitats (hardwood forest, swamp, and dune/maritime forest) in Broward County, FL (FLEPPC 2005). Noted as invasive in FL, but not in the other states it has invaded (Swearingen 2005).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Low significance
Comments: Approximately 5 continental ecoregions + Hawai'i are invaded, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Can apparently tolerate either wet or relatively dry soil, though it prefers soils that are moist and fertile (Scher 2004, Bugwood Network et al. 2005, PIER 2005). Prefers full sunlight and can tolerate partial shade, but cannot tolerate full shade, such as that under a closed forest canopy (Francis 2003). Predominantly invades human-disturbed, open sites, such as roadsides, waste places, pastures, and old fields (Small 1933, Wunderlin 1982, Langeland and Burks 1998, Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, FLEPPC 2005); more rarely found on naturally disturbed sites such as landslides, riverbanks, open native vegetation, and forest clearings and edges (Cuda et al. 2002, Francis 2003, Scher 2004, PIER 2005). Forest habitats within which it has been found include hardwood forest (e.g. hammocks or tree islands) and maritime forest (FLEPPC 2005). Also invades swamps (Small 1933, Langeland and Burks 1998, Scher 2004, FLEPPC 2005).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Appears to be spreading slowly both within and outside Florida. Although it had been collected only a few times in south Florida by 1974 (Langeland and Burks 1998), it has now been reported in at least nine Florida counties (Cuda et al. 2002). Also, a new state record for Alabama has apparently been reported within the past 5 years (Kartesz 1999). In Hawai'i, it established on Maui in 1954 and has since spread to O'ahu (Wagner et al. 1999); biologists predict further spread within O'ahu (USGS 2003). However, some new reports may be due to increasing awareness of the species' invasive potential rather than to actual geographic spread. This increased awareness probably resulted from the recent dramatic spread and impact of its congener, tropical soda apple (S. viarum), in the southeastern U.S. (Cuda et al. 2002).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Given establishment in Alabama and Mississippi, parts of Georgia and South Carolina appear suitable. The remaining Hawaiian islands are probably suitable as well. Given that the species is native to relatively moist, subtropical and tropical areas, much of the remainder of the U.S. is likely unsuitable.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: This species has been listed as a federal noxious weed and is also on the state noxious weed lists of Florida, Alabama, and Hawaii, as well as a number of other states in which it has not yet established (GRIN 2001). Despite these listings, some people, especially in Florida, continue to cultivate it, as a yard plant and for its sharp-tasting immature fruits (Langeland and Burks 1998, Cuda et al. 2002, Scher 2004). It has been found cultivated in Florida within the last 10 years (Scher 2004). Seeds are also dispersed by birds throughout the invaded range (Langeland and Burks 1998, Cuda et al. 2002, Francis 2003, Scher 2004, PIER 2005).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Increases in disturbance generally allow this species to increase in local abundance (Francis 2003). Appears to be spreading slowly within Florida. Although it had been collected only a few times in south Florida by 1974 (Langeland and Burks 1998), it has now been reported in at least nine Florida counties (Cuda et al. 2002). In Hawai'i, biologists predict further spread within O'ahu (USGS 2003).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Frequently associated with disturbance, especially human disturbance (Small 1933, Wunderlin 1982, Langeland and Burks 1998, Wunderlin and Hansen 2003, FLEPPC 2005). However, also apparently capable of invading relatively undisturbed swamp areas (Small 1933, Langeland and Burks 1998, Scher 2004, FLEPPC 2005).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Moderate significance
Comments: Naturalized throughout the tropical regions of the world, including West and Central Africa, South Africa, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea (Langeland and Burks 1998, Randall 2002, Scher 2004, Bugwood Network et al. 2005). Considered a weed in 32 countries, and a serious or principal weed in 7 of these (Langeland and Burks 1998). Appears to be somewhat more aggressively spreading into natural areas in at least some of these places; for example, it has been noted as an environmental weed in Queensland, Australia (Randall 2002) and has been reported to be impacting the native vegetation in Fiji (Tuiwawa 2005).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Sprouts from lateral rhizomes to form thickets (Cuda et al. 2002) and also reproduces by seed.

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Mechanical control is possible, but must be done by grubbing out entire plants; lopping is not effective (Francis 2003, PIER 2005). Effective control can also be achieved by applying herbicide (e.g. glyphosate, 2,4-D, picloram or triclopyr) to cut stumps (Francis 2003, PIER 2005); this method was estimated to cost approximately $185 per hectare when used on the congeneric tropical soda apple (S. viarum) (Cuda et al. 2002). Several leaf-eating chrysomelid beetles (Leptinotarsa texana, Leptinotarsa undecimlineata, and Metriona elatior) have shown promise as potential biological control agents for Solanum torvum, but further testing of non-target impacts remains to be completed before these can be cleared for release into the wild (Cuda et al. 2002, Medal et al. 2002, PIER 2005).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance
Comments: If mechanical control only (grubbing) is employed, resprouting can occur and delay the completion of the effort. No evidence was found that the seed bank is particularly long-lived.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: If mechanical control only (grubbing) is employed (i.e. if herbicide is not an option), the control operation may result in significant soil disturbance, with consequent impacts on natives.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: Predominantly invades human-disturbed areas, which should not present access problems. However, swamp areas are also invaded; these will likely be more difficult to access.
Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Aug1993
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Stoner, N.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Adams, C. D. 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica. University of the West Indies. Mona, Jamaica. 848 pp.

  • Bugwood Network, U.S. Forest Service, and USDA APHIS Pest Plant and Quarantine. 2005, 26 April last update. Turkey berry (Solanum torvum). Online. Available: http://www.invasive.org/browse/subject.cfm?sub=4280 (Accessed 2005).

  • Cuda, J. P., P. E. Parker, B. R. Coon, F. E. Vasquez, and J. M. Harrison. 2002. Evaluation of exotic Solanum spp. (Solanales: Solanaceae) in Florida as host plants for the leaf beetles Leptinotarsa defecta and L. texana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Florida Entomologist 85(4): 599-610.

  • Cuda, J.P., D. Gandolfo, J. C. Medal, R. Charudattan, and J. J. Mullahey. 2002. Tropical soda apple, wetland nightshade, and turkey berry. In: Van Driesche, R., S. Lyon, B. Blossey, M. Hoddle, and R. Reardon, eds. Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States. USDA Forest Service Publication FHTET-2002-04.

  • Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). 2005, 5 September last update. Exotic Pest Plant Database. Online. Available: http://www.fleppc.org/database/data_intro.htm (Accessed 2005).

  • Francis, John K. 2003. Wildland shrubs and the United States and its territories: Thamnic descriptions. General Technical Report IITF-WB-1. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, and Shrub Sciences Laboratory.

  • Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG). 2005. Global Invasive Species Database. Online. Available: http://www.issg.org/database (Accessed 2006).

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Langeland, K.A. and K.C. Burks. 1998. Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas. University of Florida. 165 pp. [http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/identif.html]

  • Li, Z. and Y. Xie. 2002. Invasive alien species in China. Beijing: Forestry Press.

  • Medal, J. C., N. C. Coile, D. Gandolfo, and J. P. Cuda. 2002. Stauts of biological control of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum, in Florida. Botany Circular No. 36 (September/October 2002), Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). 2005, 17 November last update. Solanum torvum. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Institute of Pacific Island Forestry. Online. Available: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/solanum_torvum.htm (Accessed 2005).

  • Scher, J. 2004. Federal Noxious Weed disseminules of the U.S. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture. Online. Available: http://www.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/FNW/ (Accessed 2006).

  • Small, J.K. 1933. Manual of the southeastern flora. Two volumes. Hafner Publishing Company, New York.

  • Swearingen, J. 2005. Alien plant invaders of natural areas. Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group. Available: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/ (Accessed 2005)

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Tuiwawa, M. 2005. Recent changes in the upland watershed forest of Monasavu, a cloud forest site along the PABITRA gateway transect on Viti Levu, Fiji. Pacific Science 59(2): 159-163.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2001. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl. (Accessed 2005)

  • United States Geological Survey (USGS). 2003. US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System: Invasive Species Survey Information. Online. Available: http://www.nwrinvasives.com/ (Accessed 2005)

  • Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Volumes 1 and 2. Univ. Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp.

  • Wunderlin, R.P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Univ. Presses Florida, Gainesville. 472 pp.

  • Wunderlin, R.P. and B.F. Hansen. 2003. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. 2nd edition. University Press of Florida, Tampa. 788 pp.

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