Solanum torvum Swartz

Solanum torvum Swartz




Solanum ferrugineum Jacq., S. largiflorum C. White.

Vernacular Names


Terong pipit, terong rembang.


Devil's fig, plate brush.


Takokak, pokak (Javanese), terong pipit (Sumatra).

Papua New Guinea

Podopodo kai ra ta ba rau (New Britain, Kuanua).


Takapasin (Tagalog), taogotan (Bisaya), balbalusa (Bontoc).


Kh'èèngz faaz, kh'èèngz saph'au.


Makhua-phuang (General), ma­khwaeng (Northern).


C[af] d[aj]i hoa tr[aws]ng, c[af] hoang.

Geographical Distributions

Solanum tor­vum originates from the Antilles, but is now a pantropical weed. Occasionally, it is also cultivat­ed, especially in South, Southeast and East Asia.


Solanum tor­vum is a spreading or scrambling slender shrub that can grow up to 3 m tall. It is pubescent with star-shaped hairs. The prickles are scattered on stem, branches and leaves especially in younger growth. They are 3-7 mm long and slightly hooked.

The leaves are arranged alternate, solitary or in pairs and variable. The petiole is 1.5-5 cm long. The leaf blade is ovate, measuring 7-20 cm x 4-18 cm, coarsely and sinuously 7­-lobed. The base is equal or unequal and somewhat with small lobes. The lobes are triangular, measure 3-4 cm long, acute or obtuse.

The inflorescence is a compact, branched, 50-100-flowered corymb, at first terminal but later becomes lateral and markedly supra-axillary. The pe­duncle is 1-2 cm long. The pedicel is 0.5-1 cm long, slightly elongating and thickening in fruit. The flowers are her­maphrodite where the upper ones may be male. The sepal is 5-­lobed, measures 3-4 mm long and persistent. The petal is 1 cm long, star-shaped, measures 2.5 cm in diametre, white and with 5 lance-shaped lobes. The 5 stamens are inserted on petal throat. The anthers on very short filaments are 6-7 mm long and attenuate. The ovary is spherical, pubescent and with style 8-10 mm long.

The fruit is a globular berry, measures 1-1.5 cm in diametre, yellowish, smooth and is produced in clusters of few to 10.

The seeds are 1.5-2 mm long, 300-400 per fruit, flat and brownish.

Ecology / Cultivation

Solanum tor­vum is a common pantropical weed, common along roadsides and in waste places after soil disturbance, usually as individual plants. In cultivated fields, it is not usually a trou­blesome weed. It prefers moist, but not places that are too wet, and occurs up to 1600 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 8: Vegetables.