Field and greenhouse studies were conducted from 1996 to 2000 to determine tropical soda apple fruit size required for mature seed, overwintering survival potential of seeds, and growth and fruit production in a containment area near Stoneville, MS (latitude 33°25′N). Seedling emergence was ≥ 50% from tropical soda apple fruit > 1.8 cm in diameter. Tropical soda apple overwintering emergence was 14, 10, 48, 42, and 13% from seed alone and 86, 83, 48, 41, and 18% for seeds in tropical soda apple fruit overwintering at 100, 0, −5, −10, and −15 cm from the soil surface, respectively. Before frost (early November), average tropical soda apple plant heights were 0.8, 0.6, and 0.7 m; plant diameters were 2.6, 1.7, and 2 m; fruit produced per tropical soda apple plant were 415, 342, 128; and plant weights were 9.9, 9.5, and 4.9 kg at 27 wk after transplanting (WATP) for 1996, 1997, and 1998, respectively. Regeneration from overwintering tropical soda apple roots varied depending on the winter conditions. These results suggest that tropical soda apple plants can survive mild winters.
Nomenclature: Tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum Dun. SOLVI