P&PDL Picture of the Week for
December 19, 2005

Apple of Peru, Apparently Not Something New

Glenn Nice, Weed Diagnostician, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, Purdue University

Illinois has reported it and Ohio has reported it in two of their counties recently. This October I received pictures from Carroll county, Indiana of a large weed growing beside a resident’s garage.  The plant of question is Apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes L. Gaertn.).  How it got there, he did not know. 

Although this is the first time I have come across it in Indiana, the USDA’s plant database reports it in Indiana.  Apple of Peru is no stranger to Indiana; it was reported in 12 counties in 1899 (Coulter), seven counties in 1940 (Deam), and in 2002 in Greene county by Bill and Edith Overlease (100 Years of Change in the Distribution of Common Indiana Weeds, unpublished).

Apple of Peru is an annual weed producing from seed and is a member of the Solanaceae family.  This family includes crops and weeds alike.  The crops include potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants, but the weeds include jimsonweed, eastern black nightshade, and horsenettle. 

What more information?  Try these web sites:

A bad apple of Peru could spoil whole bunch of crops

Apple of Peru: A New Invasive Weed in Ohio

Click image to enlarge

apple of peru

apple of peru

apple of peru

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service