- "Kangaroo Apple" redirects here. This name is also used for related species of Solanum.
It can grow up to 12 feet tall (4 metres). The leaves are, 8–30 cm long, lobed or entire, with any lobes being 1–10 cm long.
The leaves and unripe fruit of S. aviculare contain the toxic alkaloid solasodine. S.aviculare is cultivated in Russia and Hungary for the solasidine which is extracted and used as a base material for the production of steroid contraceptives.
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.
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.
- Solanum aviculare var. albiflorum Cheeseman
- Solanum aviculare var. latifolium G.T.S.Baylis
- Low, T. (1990): Bush Medicine, A Pharmacopoeia of Natural Remedies. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-16462-2
- Solanaceae Source (2006): Solanum sessiliflorum. Version of April 2006. Retrieved 2008-SEP-27.
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- Plants of New Zealand S. aviculare