Nicandra physalodes (L.) Gaertn.

Apple of Peru

Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 237 (1791) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Extinct

Establishment means:Introduced

Annual herb to c. 2 m high. Leaves variable, narrow- to broad-ovate, mostly 2–15 cm long, 1–6 cm wide, apex acute or obtuse, base cuneate, mar-gins usually irregularly toothed; petiole mostly 1–6 cm long. Flowers on pedicels 6–24 mm long; calyx 7–22 mm long, lobes with margins appressed to form longitudinal wings, often mucronate at apex and on basal tips; corolla 12–23(–30) mm long, lobes obtuse or slightly notched; staminal filaments 3–3.5 mm long, pubescent at base; style 3–6 mm long. Fruiting calyx papery, reticulate-veined; berry globose, usually 11–22 mm diam., pale yellow; seeds 1.2–2.1 mm long, pitted, brown. Flowers mostly summer and autumn.

Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to Peru. A widely cultivated ornamental that has become naturalised at a number of sites in Victoria as a garden-escape.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Solanaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-06-18
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Solanales
family Solanaceae
genus Nicandra
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Nicandra physalodes in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Nicandra physalodes in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee extinct introduced
Gippsland Plain extinct introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands extinct introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall extinct introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory