First report of Solanum elaeagnifolium in Bulgaria
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Solanaceae: EPPO A2 List) is a herbaceous perennial or a small shrub, native to the Americas and an alien invasive plant in parts of Asia, Africa and the EPPO region. In 2015, S. elaeagnifolium was recorded for the first time in Bulgaria in the valley of the River Struma where it has invaded a wasteland area beside a road. In other areas within the EPPO region S. elaeagnifolium has invaded cultivated land, orchards, managed grasslands and associated man-made habitats, natural grasslands, riverbanks, canal sides, rail and road sides and wastelands. S. elaeagnifolium is considered one of the worst invasive alien plants worldwide. The species has an extensive root system where just a small fragment can regenerate into a viable plant. A single plant can produce 40-60 fruits. Each fruit can contain 60-120 seeds which are spread both naturally (via wind and waterbodies facilities spread) and through human assisted spread (dispersal via agricultural machinery). Numerous negative impacts have been recorded, including outcompeting native species, reducing crop yields in agriculture systems and negative impact on ecosystem services (for example pollinators). To-date, S. elaeagnifolium has only been recorded in one discrete site in Bulgaria but further spread is likely especially when considering similar climatic/ecological areas where the species has a wide distribution (for example Northern Greece).
Vladimirov V, Bancheva S, Delcheva M (2015) Solanum elaeagnifolium (Solanaceae), a new alien species for the Bulgarian flora. Flora Mediterranean 25, 121-125.