Plants of
South Australia
Solanum simile
Solanaceae
Oondooroo,
Kangaroo Apple
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 7

Common names

Oondooroo

Kangaroo Apple

Etymology

Solanum was first used by Pliny the Elder (23–79) for S. nigrum, also known as strychnos and possibly from the Latin 'sol' meaning sun, referring to its status as a plant of the sun or from the Latin 'solamen' meaning solace, comfort, referring to the narcotic properties of some species. Simile from Latin meaning similar; possibly alluding to the species similarity to other Solanum.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia growing in drier, disturbed areas, gravel banks of creeks, roadside verges or seasonally flooded creek. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states. More abundant after fire.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect soft-wooded shrub to 2 m tall. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, to 8 cm long and 2 cm wide with both surfaces green and glabrous. Juvenile leaves up to 19 cm long and 9 cm wide, shallowly lobed towards base. Inflorescence a spike of 12 violet flowers. Flowering between September and April. Fruits are globular fruit to 15 mm diameter, ripening green, sometimes tinged with purple, becoming slightly translucent, succulent and aromatic when ripe. Seeds are orange-brown flat, round seed to 3 mm long and 2.5 mm wide, with a wrinkled surface. Within the fruit there will be some white hard spherical material. These are not seed. Seed embryo type is linear fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and June. Pick fruits which are ripening, usually soft and green. Greener fruits can be collected if the seeds inside are hard and turning brown. Place the fruits in a bucket of water and rub with your hands to separate the seeds from the flesh. Wash the mixture with clean water and drain. Place the mixture on paper towel and leave to dry overnight. Then rub the dried material by hand to remove any remaining flesh from the seeds. Use a sieve to remove the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From two collections, the seed viability was average to high, ranging from 80% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

1,800 (2.35 g)
1214-Dec-2006TST144
Kangaroo Island
80%
BGA 
MSB
4,900 (6.43 g)
2,400 (3.29 g)
30+14-Dec-2006TST144
Kangaroo Island
1-Aug-200780%-18°C
BGA10,000 (40.11 g)15-Oct-2008TST729
Flinders Ranges
20-Jul-2009100%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
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