Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shoo-fly plant: Nicandra physalodes

Nicandra physalodes
 Shoo-fly plant or Apple of Peru
This weed of summer, which has its origin in South America, has had a good year with all the rain and I have noticed in some areas that it is reaching up to 2 metres in height. It occurs in all States except NT and is easily recognized by the bell shaped pale blue flowers emerging from a green calyx. The fruits which form are round berries like wild gooseberries enclosed in the 5-parted calyx which turns papery and brown. These are not edible unlike many other members of the Solanum family, eg tomato and potato. I am not sure where the common name shoo fly plant comes from but it reminds me of that summer song we all sing: shoo fly don't bother me....
It is fairly easy to control if you get onto it early but growth is so rapid it could be above your head in the space of a week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi - it's August - and we have Nicandra physalodes appearing here at Cape Tribulation FNQ - but from where??

    We have the native Physalis

    Pretty - but we'll declare it a weed and eradicate it..