Solanum linnaeanum

Apple of Sodom

Also known as:

Dead Sea apple, devil's apple

Family: Solanaceae

Origin: Africa

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Not a legally declared pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial shrub c. 1 m tall. Stems and leaves are covered in sharp spines < 15 mm long. Leaves are < 9 x 7 cm, deeply lobed, alternate and dark green, with downy undersides. Flowers are purple, star-shaped and borne in clusters in September-May. Fruits are round, green-white berries that ripen to yellow.

What you need to know

Although apple of Sodom is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower-risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.


Coastal areas, scrub margins, pasture, disturbed habitats.


Seeds dispersed by birds and attachment of fruit to animals and machinery.

Impact on environment

May displace native coastal vegetation. Unpalatable to livestock and selective grazing may displace valuable pasture species. Poisonous to animals and humans.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds if practical.

Disposal options: Can be left on-site to rot down but check for regrowth.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel.

Safety notes

Plant has thorns.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

A five-petaled purple flower of the apple of Sodom.
Apple of Sodom flowers are purple with a yellow centre.
A round green fruit hanging from the Apple of Sodom's thorny branch.
Fruit is green. It has white berries which turn yellow when ripe and poisonous.
Photo credit: Holly Cox
An apple of Sodom cluster of trees growing in the distance.
Apple of Sodom is a shrub that can grow up to 1 meter tall.
Photo credit: Holly Cox
The leaves of the apple of Sodom tree is flared around the edges.
Leaves are green on top and furry underneath.
Photo credit: Holly Cox
The apple of Sodom tree with purple flowers.
Stems are brown and covered in spikes.
Photo credit: Holly Cox