Thursday, May 17, 2012

Well here's . . . something . . .

I've mentioned, in some previous posts, my interest in identifying the wild plants on our property, and especially the plants which are good to eat. The plant you see in the picture above grows all over our yard, seeming to prefer full sun. The cows will eat these plants, but not until they're pretty much out of everything else to eat, during the time when all the plants are dying in the dry season.

The reluctance of the cows may have something to do with the spiky thorns all over this plant. I'd sure be careful, if I was going to eat those leaves!

The fruits appear on the plants as small green balls. Gradually the solid green changes over to the watermelon look of the immature fruits you can see in the first photo. The lighter color goes from white to yellow, the darker green gradually fade, and as the fruit becomes fully ripe it turns entirely yellow.

The mature fruits are about the size of ping pong balls. We brought one into the kitchen and cut it open. Although it smelled like melon, none of us thought it would be a good idea to try it, until we know more about the plant.

So there it is --- whatever it is! LOL


Denise said...

Hi Trish,

Good choice NOT to taste this pretty yellow "fruit". It's toxic to humans! Here's a quick quote I found: Tropical Soda Apple is on the Federal Noxious Weed List (UUSDA NRCS). It reduces
biological diversity in natural areas by displacing native plants and disrupting ecological integrity. Plant
prickles can restrict wildlife grazing and create a physical barrier to animals, preventing movement through
infested areas. It contains solasodine, which is poisonous to humans. This invader also serves as a host for
viruses that infect important vegetable crops.

You can

Pull those things out and burn 'em!


Trish said...

Yep, I'm sure the Tropical Soda Apple (what a cool name!) is a match. Bummer that it's a pest.