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Solanum mammosum

(Apple of Sodom)


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A weed , sometimes cultivated; Fruits poisonous, sometimes used medicinally. Causing irritability, confusion, uneasiness, tiredness without being able to sleep, or "dreams of death with violent weeping" and coughing up of blood. Juice once used in some countries as a detergent for washing clothes.

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:

حدق حلمي

Common Names in Cayapa:

Mutondo Puga

Common Names in Chinese:

乳茄, 五指茄

Common Names in Cofán:


Common Names in English:

Apple of Sodom, Cows Udder, Love Apple, Macaw Bush, Macawbush, Mackaw Bush, Nipple Fruit, Nipplefruit, Nyun Wenkibobi, Pig´s-Ears, Soresumba, Terong Susu, Tit Fruit, Tit Plant, Titty Fruit, Turkey Berry (West Indian), Zombi Apple

Common Names in French:

Morelle à Fruit Ornemental, Morelle Molle, Tétons De Jeune Fille

Common Names in German:

Euter-Nachtschatten, Kuheuterpflanze, Zitzen Nachtschatten

Common Names in Indonesian:

Terung susu

Common Names in Japanese:


Common Names in Lao:

M'kua Num Pe

Common Names in Makiritari:


Common Names in Malay:

Terong Susu

Common Names in Portuguese:

Teta de vaca

Common Names in Russian:

Паслён сосочковый

Common Names in Spanish:

Berenjena De Gallina, Berenjena De Teta, Tetilla


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Family Solanaceae

Herbs, shrubs , small trees , or climbers . Stems sometimes prickly, rarely thorny; hairs simple , branched, or stellate , sometimes glandular . Leaves alternate, solitary or paired , simple or pinnately compound , without stipules; leaf blade entire, dentate , lobed , or divided . Inflorescences terminal , overtopped by continuing axes, appearing axillary , extra-axillary , or leaf opposed, often apparently umbellate , racemose, paniculate , clustered, or solitary flowers, rarely true cymes, sometimes bracteate . Flowers mostly bisexual , usually regular, 5-merous, rarely 4- or 6-9-merous. Calyx mostly lobed. Petals united . Stamens as many as corolla lobes and alternate with them, inserted within corolla, all alike or 1 or more reduced; anthers dehiscing longitudinally or by apical pores . Ovary 2-5-locular; placentation mostly axile ; ovules usually numerous . Style 1. Fruiting calyx often becoming enlarged, mostly persistent . Fruit a berry or capsule. Seeds with copious endosperm; embryo mostly curved .

About 95 genera with 2300 species: best represented in western tropical America, widespread in temperate and tropical regions ; 20 genera (ten introduced ) and 101 species in China.

Some species of Solanaceae are known in China only by plants cultivated in ornamental or specialty gardens: Atropa belladonna Linnaeus, Cyphomandra betacea (Cavanilles) Sendtner, Brugmansia suaveolens (Willdenow) Berchtold & Presl, Nicotiana alata Link & Otto, and Solanum jasminoides Paxton.[1]

Genus Solanum

Herbs, shrubs , climbers , or small trees , sometimes prickly; hairs simple , branched, or stellate , sometimes glandular . Leaves solitary or paired , simple or pinnately compound , mostly petiolate ; leaf blade entire, dentate , lobed , or parted . Inflorescences axillary , extra-axillary , or leaf opposed, mostly racemose, paniclulate, umbellate , fasciculate, or solitary flowers, without bracts; peduncle branched or not, sometimes obsolete . Flowers bisexual or andromonoecious, mostly actinomorphic , often 5-merous. Calyx mostly lobed partway and splitting further at sinuses. Corolla mostly rotate or stellate. Stamens inserted high in corolla tube ; anthers often connivent or connate around style, dehiscing by apical pores , often later splitting longitudinally. Ovary 2-5-locular, with enlarged placentae; ovules axile , numerous . Stigma small. Fruiting calyx persistent, sometimes enlarged and enclosing berry. Berries mostly juicy. Seeds discoid or lenticular ; embryo strongly curved .

About 1200 species: most in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in the Americas; 41 species in China, about half introduced from elsewhere.[2]

Physical Description

Species Solanum mammosum

Herbs or shrubs , erect , ca. 1 m tall, copiously armed , villous throughout with mixed stellate and simple , partly glandular hairs . Stems pilose with glandular simple hairs, armed with needlelike, sometimes slightly curved yellowish prickles 4-12 × 3-5 mm. Leaves mostly paired ; petiole 2.5-8 cm; leaf blade broadly ovate or suborbicular , 5-12 × 5-10 cm, (3-) 5(-7) -lobed, villous, armed on major veins with needlelike prickles 0.8-2 cm, base cordate, apex acute or obtuse . Inflorescences extra-axillary , scorpioid-racemose, 3- or 4-flowered; peduncle obsolete . Pedicel 5-10 mm. Calyx pubescent as on stems, sometimes armed; lobes ovate-lanceolate, 5-6 mm. Corolla purple, 2.5-3.2 cm in diam.; lobes oblong-lanceolate, 2-2.2 × 0.4 cm, villous abaxially. Stamens subequal ; filaments ca. 1 mm; anthers narrow, lanceolate, 1-1.2 cm. Style ca. 3 mm. Berry yellow, darkening with age, pyriform , 4.5-7 × 3-4 cm, with 1-5 papillate protuberances at base; mesocarp white, spongy . Seeds dark brown, somewhat compressed , 3-4 mm in diam. Fl. summer, fr. autumn. [source]

Habit: Subshrub , Vine , Forb/herb

Flowers: Bloom Period: July, August. • Flower Color: magenta


Size: 36-48" tall.


200-1300 m. [3].

Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 3,037 meters (0 to 9,964 feet).[4]


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Duration: Annual , Perennial


Culture: Space 24-36" apart.

Soil: Minimum pH: 6.6 • Maximum pH: 7.5

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 9b, 10a, 10b, 11. (map)


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Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 2006

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Solanum

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 1675 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:

S. acaule (Wild Andean Potato) · S. aculeastrum (Sodaapple Nightshade) · S. adscendens (Sonoita Nightshade) · S. aethiopicum (Ethiopian Nightshade) · S. aethiopicum 'Burkina Faso' (Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'Gilo Black Stem' (Japanese Golden Eggs) · S. aethiopicum 'Jaxatu Soxna' (African Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'Jilo Tingua Verde Claro' (Indian Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'Keur M'bir N'dao' (African Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'N'drowa' (African Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'N'galam' (African Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'N'goyo' (African Eggplant) · S. aethiopicum 'Ruffled Red' (Japanese Golden Eggs) · S. aethiopicum 'Turkish Orange' (Japanese Golden Eggs) · S. americanum (Apple of Sodom) · S. anguivi (African Nightshade) · S. annuum 'Maor' (Bell Pepper) · S. atropurpureum (Potato Vine) · S. aviculare (Kangaroo Apple) · S. bahamense (Bahama Nightshade) · S. bahamense var. bahamense (Bahama Nightshade) · S. bahamense var. luxurians (Bahama Nightshade) · S. bahamense var. rugelii (Rugel's Nightshade) · S. betaceum (Tamarillo) · S. bulbocastanum (Ornamental Nightshade) · S. bulbocastanum bulbocastanum (Ornamental Nightshade) · S. burbankii (Wonderberry) · S. cajanumense (Tomate Silvestre) · S. campechiense (Redberry Nightshade) · S. candidum (Fuzzyfruit Nightshade) · S. capsicastrum (False Jerusalem Cherry) · S. capsicastrum 'Variegatum' (Variegated False Jerusalem Cherry) · S. capsicoides (Cockroach Berry) · S. cardiophyllum (Heaftleaf Horsenettle) · S. caripense (Mamoncillo) · S. carolinense (Apple of Sodom) · S. carolinense var. carolinense (Carolina Horse-Nettle) · S. carolinense var. floridanum (Carolina Horsenettle) · S. carolinense var. hirsutum (Carolina Horsenettle) · S. centrale (Australian Desert Raisin) · S. chacoense (Wild Andean Potato) · S. chenopodioides (Goosefoot Nightshade) · S. circinatum ramosa (Tomate De ) · S. citrullifolium (Melon-Leaf Nightshade) · S. citrullifolium var. citrullifolium (Watermelon Nightshade) · S. citrullifolium var. setigerum (Watermelon Nightshade) · S. clokeyi (Clokey's Nightshade) · S. commersonii (Commerson's Nightshade) · S. commersonii commersonii (Commerson's Wild Potato) · S. conocarpum (Marron Bacoba) · S. coronopus (Green False-Nightshade) · S. crispum 'Glasnerium' (Blue Potato Vine) · S. crispum 'Glasnevin' (Chilean Potato Tree) · S. crispum 'Variegata' (Chilean Potato Tree) · S. davisense (Davis Horsenettle) · S. demissum (Nightshade) · S. densevestitum (Felty Nightshade) · S. diflorum (False Jerusalem Cherry) · S. dimidiatum (Torrey Nightshade) · S. diphyllum (Amatillo) · S. donianum (Mullein Nightshade) · S. douglasii (Douglass Nightshade) · S. drymophilum (Erubia) · S. dulcamara (Bitter Nightshade) · S. dulcamara var. dulcamara (Bittersweet Nightshade) · S. dulcamara var. villosissimum (Bittersweet Nightshade) · S. dulcamara 'Variegatum' (Nightshade) · S. elaeagnifolium (Bull Nettle) · S. ellipticum (Velvet Potato Bush) · S. endopogon guianensis (Uluwukusi) · S. erianthum (Mullein Nightshade) · S. fendleri (Fendler Horsenettle) · S. fendleri var. fendleri (Fendler's Horse-Nettle) · S. fendleri var. texense (Texan Horsenettle) · S. ferox (Nightshade) · S. furcatum (Forked Nightshade) · S. gayanum (Chilean Nightshade) · S. giganteum (African Holly) · S. gilo (Gilo) · S. glaucophyllum (Waxyleaf Nightshade) · S. gracilius (Slender Nightshade) · S. granulo-leprosum (Solanum) · S. heterodoxum (Melon-Leaf Nightshade) · S. heterodoxum var. heterodoxum (Melonleaf Nightshade) · S. heterodoxum var. novomexicanum (New Mexican Nightshade) · S. heterodoxum var. setigeroides (Melonleaf Nightshade) · S. hindsianum (Hinds' Nightshade) · S. hirsutum (Carolina Horsenettle) · S. hyporhodium (Cocona) · S. incanum (Nightshade) · S. incompletum (Popolo Ku Mai) · S. indicum (Sparrow´s Brinjal (India)) · S. interius (Deadly Nightshade) · S. jamaicense (Jamaica Nightshade) · S. jamesii (Wild Potato) · S. jasminoides (Jasmine Nightshade) · S. jasminoides 'Album' (Potato Vine) · S. jasminoides 'Variegata' (Variegated Potato Vine) · S. khasianum (Nightshade) · S. laciniatum (Large Kangaroo Apple)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 30, 2007:



  1. Zhi-Yun Zhang, Anmin Lu & William G. D'Arcy "Solanaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 17 Page 300. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. "Solanum". in Flora of China Vol. 17 Page 314. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  3. "Solanum mammosum". in Flora of China Vol. 17 Page 323. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  4. Mean = 508.150 meters (1,667.159 feet), Standard Deviation = 990.400 based on 82 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-11-21