Tropical Soda Apple
Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum varium) - Flowers white with 5 recurved petals. Mature plants are 3 to 6 ft tall and have white to yellowish spines up to ¾ inch long. Fruit ¾ to 1 ¼ inches in diameter mottled whitish to light green like a watermelon. Closely resembles horse nettle (Carolina nightshade) only much larger.
Situation in Kansas
Tropical soda apple is a Federal Noxious Weed and is quarantined in Kansas under the Federal Noxious Weed Quarantine. This invasive weed is known to exist in the southern United States and could establish itself in the southern tier of Kansas counties. There is no record of tropical soda apple in Kansas but movement of cattle from the south could provide a pathway into the state.