Aquatic soda apple

Quick Facts

Scientific nameSolanum tampicense
OriginMexico, West Indies
Introduction1970s, natural colonization (?)
Aquatic communityEmergent
HabitatShorelines, wet soils
DistributionCentral Florida
Management effortEradication
2013 public waters / plant acres:2 / 5

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Growth rate similar to water hyacinth
  • Harbors mosquitoes
  • Mats prevent air and light diffusion into water
    • killing native plants, fish and wildlife
    • preventing decomposition of detritus
  • Speeds sedimentation by shedding roots and shoots
  • Dense mats jam against bridges and reduce water flow at flood control structures
Solanum tampicense
Solanum tampicense
Solanum tampicense
Solanum tampicense

Management Options

Biological2 host-specific insects (ineffective to date)
ChemicalDiquat; occasionally copper near drinking water intakes; carfentrazone
MechanicalHarvest around bridges and flood control structures
PhysicalOccasional winter drawdowns (drying and desiccation)

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2009-2010.

Last updated: 30 June 2014