First report of Solanum viarum in France
In the EPPO region, Solanum viarum was recently reported in the South of France. The first discovery was made in September 2018 by an amateur botanist and then independently in 2019 by the authors of the current publication. Solanum viarum was discovered in the Gorges du Gardon a little way downstream from the regional nature reserve (Gard department). In February 2019, approximately 21 individuals covering 20 m2 were recorded in semi-shade, at the edge of a holm oak (Quercus ilex) forest dominated by the flowering vine Smilax aspera. The Solanum viarum plants had fruits at varying stages of maturity and winter frosts did not appear to have affected the plants. S. viarum is native to South America and is an invasive alien species in Asia, North and Central America and South Africa. It produces thousands of seeds per plant that are dispersed by small mammals and livestock. Throughout its invasive range, S. viarum has a number of negative impacts including forming dense monospecific stands that outcompete native plant species. In addition, it can invade pastures, plantations and agricultural fields.
* Christians JF, Maglio M (2020) Solanum viarum Dunal (Solanaceae) dans le département du Gard (France): une espèce exotique nouvelle pour la flore de France continentale. Bulletin de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon 89(7-8), 196-204.