Thursday, 21 February 2008

The apple that isn't an apple

Why is it called a Kangaroo Apple? Because its leaves look like the footprint of a kangaroo and the fruit looks like an apple. Supposedly. You might need to use a little imagination. The one growing in my garden grows naturally in the bush here as well, and is very common in some areas. Its scientific name is Solanum laciniatum, and can be distinguished from its very similar relative, Solanum aviculare (also confusingly called Kangaroo Apple), by the notch in the lobes of the flower. The lobes of S. aviculare don't have a notch and the fruit is more orange or scarlet. Kangaroo Apples aren't often planted in suburban gardens, but I like them. They grow very quickly and are a good screen plant.

Kangaroo Apple

Kangaroo Apple

Kangaroo Apple


Kerrie said...

are the 'apples' edible?

Snail said...

I've had to chop down my kangaroo apple because it was taking over my pocket handkerchied-sized garden. 'Twas a sad day.

But I've noticed that there's a self-seeded sapling in a neighbour's garden. Well, self-seeded via a blackbird, I suspect. I hope they let it grow.