Weed Seed: Nicandra physalodes (Apple of Peru)
Apple of Peru
Worldwide: Native to South America and widely introduced elsewhere, including North America, Asia, Africa, eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand (CABI 2016Footnote 3, USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 4). In the United States it occurs mainly in the east and midwestern regions, with a scattered occurrence in the central and western states (Kartesz 2011Footnote 5).
Duration of life cycle
Seed or fruit type
- Seed diameter: 1.0 - 1.3 mm
- Seed thickness: 0.3 mm
- Seed is round to kidney-shaped, strongly compressed
- Seed is glossy; strongly reticulate with small wavy-edged cells
- Seed is orange to brownish-orange
- Hilum is a small slit along the narrow edge of the seed.
Habitat and Crop Association
Cultivated fields, old fields, old gardens, roadsides and disturbed areas (Scoggan 1979Footnote 6, Gleason and Cronquist 1991Footnote 7, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 1). Infests a wide range of crops, including cereals, soybeans, beans, corn and vegetables, as well as pastures, orchards and vineyards (CABI 2016Footnote 3).
Apple of Peru is occasionally planted as an ornamental and may escape cultivation. It may also be dispersed as a contaminant in grain and birdseed (National Botanic Garden of Belgium 2013Footnote 8).
Husk tomato (Physalis pubescens)
- Husk tomato seeds are a similar size, round shape, with a glossy and wrinkled surface as apple of Peru.
- Husk tomato seeds differ from apple of Peru by: lighter colour and an indistinct surface pattern. The cells of husk tomato are wavy-edged, shallow, and are pulled at the hilum and along the narrow edge. The cells of apple of Peru are deep, well-defined and appear the same across the seed.
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