First report of Solanum mauritianum in France
Solanum mauritianum (Solanaceae) is a shrub originating from South America. It is established in Portugal in the Azores (reported since 1972) and in Coimbra (reported since 2000) in waste grounds. In Coimbra, it escaped from the Botanical Garden, and produces seeds which are dispersed by birds. The species has also been observed as naturalized in Tenerife (Islas Canarias, Spain) (F Verloove, pers. obs., 2014).
In France, the plant was observed for the first time in July 2014 in the municipality of Talasani in Haute-Corse. Four plants dispersed over 30 m occur in degraded Pteridium spp. vegetation, in the vicinity of a swamp where Cirsium creticum (Asteraceae) thrives (a rare native species in Corse). One of the plants of S. mauritianum is over 2 m high, flowering and fruiting, the other three plants are most probably offspring of this individual. The introduction pathway of the species is unknown. S. mauritianum seems to be absent from adjacent gardens, but could be cultivated somewhere in Corse (e.g. Bastia), and could have been dispersed by birds. The plant is frost sensitive and requires at least moderate water levels.
The species may represent a risk in the future and should usefully be monitored and action may be taken if appropriate.
Jean-Marc Tison, personal communication, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domingues De Almeida J (2000) Solanum mauritianicum (Solanaceae), naturalized in Portugal. Anales Jardín Botánico de Madrid 57, 422.