Solanum torvum

Devil's fig

Also known as:

Turkey berry

Family: Solanaceae

Origin: North and South America

Close up of devil's fig leaves and berries.
The fruits are berries that grow in clusters that look like green peas. They become yellow when fully ripe.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
  • Whole region — Eradication

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Multi-branching, perennial shrub < 4 m tall. Stems are densely hairy, grey, and bear scattered prickles. Leaves are simple, < 10 x 15 cm and lobed, with grey/green tops and white/yellow/green undersides. Flowers are star-shaped, white with yellow stamens, and arranged in branched clusters. Fruit is round, yellow/green, and contains flattened white/pale brown seeds.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • you must not breed, distribute, release or sell devil’s fig within the Auckland region
  • you must not plant devil’s fig within the Auckland region.

Auckland Council will control devil's fig at all sites where it is known to occur.

If you see devil’s fig anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Habitats

Disturbed areas, roadsides, wasteland, scrubland, plantations, pasture.

Dispersal

Seed dispersed by birds. Human-mediated dispersal through movement of contaminated soil and equipment.

Impact on environment

Can create impassable thickets. Provides habitat and food resources for introduced mammals. Suppresses forage in pasture.

Control

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. Please report to Auckland Council.

Close up of devil's fig five petaled flower.
The flowers are white with 5 pointed petals.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr
The underside of devil's fig leaves.
The spines are short and slightly curved.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr
Close up of devil's fig leaf.
The leaves have grey/green tops with white/yellow/green undersides.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr
Devil's fig growing in tall bushes next to a shed.
It can form dense stands.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr