The name Solanum linnaeanum was established to replace the illegitimate and widely misapplied names Solanum sodomeum L. and Solanum hermannii Dunal (the former now a rejected name and the latter illegitimate)[
Solanum hermannii auct.
Solanum sodomeum auct.
Common Name: Apple of Sodom
Solanum linnaeanum is an erect, prickly shrub that can grow 40 - 150cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Solanum linnaeanum is a native of southern Africa that has become naturalized in many parts of the warm temperate zone, including the Mediterranean and parts of Australia. It can become invasive, forming dense thickets that crowd out native plants by competing for space, water and nutrients. It infests dry pastures and forests, displacing other plants and hindering the movement of people and animals[
The plant contains toxic compounds, including glucoalkaloids (heterosides of solasodine) and saponosides[
Although providing many well-known foods for people, including the potato, tomato, pepper and aubergine, most species in this genus also contain toxic alkaloids. Whilst these alkaloids can make the plant useful in treaing a range of medical conditions, they can also cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, salivation, drowsiness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weakness and respiratory depression[
Unless there are specific entries with information on edible uses, it would be unwise to ingest any part of this plant[
Southern Africa - Mozambique, Zimbabwe, S. Africa
Grassland, coastal beaches and scrub, growing on rocky slopes, flats, and in disturbed places[
The plant can flower and produce fruit all year round[
The leaves are aphrodisiac, ophthalmic. They are used as a treatment for insomnia and for stoping excessive menses[
An infusion of the leaves is used as an eye wash for cleaning the eyes[
Some caution is advised on the use of this species - see notes above on toxicity[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of greenwood in a frame[