J Syst Evol ›› 2007, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (5): 675-685.DOI: 10.1360/aps07010

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The potential and exotic invasive plant: Solanum rostratum

LIN Yu, TAN Dun-Yan*   

  1. (College of Forestry Sciences, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Ürümqi 830052, China)tandunyan@163.com
  • Received:2007-01-19 Published:2007-09-18

Abstract: Solanum rostratum Dunal. is an annual weed with strong ability for invasion. The species is native to the neotropics and southwestern United States, but it is now widely distributed throughout much of the world. In China, this species was first reported in Chaoyang County of Liaoning Province in 1982, and then successively reported in Baicheng City of Jilin Province, Zhangjiakou City of Hebei Province, and Miyun County of Beijing in recent years. In 2005–2007, this species was also found in Ürümqi County and Shihezi City of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Solanum rostratum is an occasional weed in open disturbed sites such as roadsides, waste dump sites, and overgrazed pastures. It occurs in many soil types, especially in alkaline loam or clay mixtures under mesic conditions. Solanum rostratum exerts its influence on crops and pastures through competition for water, nutrients, and light throughout the growing season of the species. It is a nuisance because the sharp spines stick to skin, hair, and mucous membranes of livestock, and thus lower the quality of their skin and hair. Leaves, berries, and roots of S. rostratum contain cholinesterase inhibitory substances, which can cause livestock poisoning and even death. In addition, plant diseases and insect pests on the S. rostratum can also spread as the plant spreads. Based on a detailed review of the literature and our field observations in Xinjiang during 2005–2007, its invasion status and distribution in Ürümqi County and Shihezi City, morphological and reproductive characteristics, and potential harm of S. rostratum are summarized and analyzed in this paper. Our purpose is to provide background information for further studies of the invasion mechanism, reproductive and spreading characteristics, and the design of control strategies of S. rostratum in China.

Key words: alien invasive species, potentially harmful weed, reproductive characteristics, Solanum rostratum, Xinjiang