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Solanum aviculare, commonly called Poroporo (New Zealand) or Kangaroo Apple (Australia), is a soft-wooded shrub native to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia.

It can grow up to 12 feet tall (4 meters). The leaves are, 8–30 cm long, lobed or entire, with any lobes being 1–10 cm long.

Its hermaphroditic (having both male and female organs) flowers are white, mauve to blue-violet, 25–40 mm wide, and are followed by poisonous berries 10–15 mm wide, orange-red to scarlet.


The leaves and unripe fruit of S. aviculare contain the toxic alkaloid solasodine. S.aviculare is also cultivated in Russia and Hungary for the solasidine which is extracted and used as a base material for the production of steroid contraceptives.[2]

The plant is also used as a rootstock for grafting eggplant.

Taxonomy and systematics

Solanum aviculare was first described by J. G. Forster in 1786, from a collection in New Zealand.[3]

There is some uncertainty whether S. aviculare and S. laciniatum are one or two species. S. aviculare has lighter flowers and is found in the northern part of the North Island of New Zealand, while S. laciniatum has darker purple flowers and is found south of Auckland.

In addition to this and the junior synonyms cited above, two varieties of S. aviculare have been named, but they are not considered taxonomically distinct anymore:[1]

  • Solanum aviculare var. albiflorum Cheeseman
  • Solanum aviculare var. latifolium G.T.S.Baylis
Written on June 18th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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