Back To Index

Kangaroo Apple

Solanum aviculare
Kangaroo Apple
Very Common

This large shrub has long, soft leaves (up to 35 cm), with pointed tips. The leaves on the young plant are strongly lobed, up to 4 large lobes on each edge. On mature bushes, most of the upper leaves are unlobed and narrow, about 10 times as long as wide. The midvein and branchlet stems have a distinctive purplish colour. The midvein is slightly raised on the upper surface and very prominent on the underside.

The violet-blue flowers, with bright-yellow stamens and 5 spreading petals, occur in spring and summer. Their shape resembles that of the potato flower Solanum tuberosum a member of the same genus.

The bush bears plentiful egg-shaped fruit, up to 3 cm long, which turn bright-orange when ripe and contain numerous small, brown seeds.

The Kangaroo Apple can be easily propagated from seed which stores well and germinates in 1-4 weeks. It is useful as a colonising species in a rainforest regeneration patch because so many fruit on the same bush ensures that plentiful self-seeding occurs once the species is established. The plant is hardy and grows quickly, but it usually lasts only a few years.

Distribution: Tas to Qld and also New Guinea.