Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage

Solanum viride

Polopuka / Poro‘iti (cv.)

Garland Berry

Multimedia & Additional Resources

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Open this image in pop-up window Image: Wild form and cv. 'Anthropophagorum' 54KB
Open this image in pop-up window Image: Wild form on Pukapuka 51KB
Open this image in pop-up window Image: cv. 'Anthropophagorum' flowers and fruit 48KB
Open this image in pop-up window Image: cv. 'Anthropophagorum' with open fruit 44KB

General Information

COMMON NAMES: Garland Berry, Necklace Pepper, Borodina [for cv. from FIJ Mboro ndina]; German Borodina

TRADITIONAL NAMES: Poro‘iti (RR MG MK AK PL), Poroporo (AT), Poroporo / Poro‘iti (MT), Polopuka [wild form] (PK); Other Polynesian - Polo Ite (SAM), Polo Tonga (TON), Mbor (wild form, FIJ, Mboro ndina (cv. FIJ), Porohiti (cv. TAH]; COMMENT: Poro‘iti Tavai Renga (yellow form)

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: NATIVE Fiji - Tonga - Samoa - Pukapuka; EXOTIC EXOTIC cv 'Anthropopharum' Fiji - Tuamotu, Hawai‘i

COOK ISLANDS STATUS: naturalised wild form on Pukapuka probably Polynesian Introduced; cv. 'Anthropophagorum' Polynesian Introduced and domestically maintained.; Land, lowlands, horticultural - coastal; The wild form grows in coastal forest on Pukapuka, and on limestone substrates within native range. Cultivar is cultivated in gardens on coastal limestone substrates.

SIGNIFICANCE LIST: ; Nationally endangered (seriously)Medicine, Ornamental FR, Material (Adornment), former Leaf Food

KEY FEATURES: Shrub to 3m. LEAVES alternate, narrow-oval, to 18x9cm, without teeth, base round ±unequal, tip acute; leaf-stalk to 4cm. FLOWERS 3-10 in cluster, corolla 1-2cmØ; petals 5 starlike, white; stmens yellow. FRUIT to 2cmØ, spherical, ripens bright red. cv. 'Anthropophagum': leaves to 30x25cm, leaf-stalk to 10cm, flowers to 20, fruit ovoid to 4x3cm.

Enlarged Image of 'Solanum viride'

Cook Islands Distribution

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Southern Group: Present    Makatea: Present

Northern Group: Present

Key to Symbols

Scientific Taxonomy

Solanum viride G.Forster ex Spreng., non R.Br.
SYNONYMS: Solanum anthropophagorum [for the cultivar, of authors]; Solanum patameense; Solanum polynesicum; Solanum savaiense; Solanum uporo [for the cultivar, of authors]

TAXONOMY: PLANTAE; ANTHOPHYTA (=Angiospermae); MAGNOLIOPSIDA (=Dicotyledones); ASTERIDAE; Solanales; SOLANACEAE. COMMENT: The large-fruited cultivar $Solanum viride@ 'Anthropophagorum' is based on Fiji material. Similar cultivars elsewhere in Polynesia may have been independently derived and warrant specific cultivar names. [Smith, Flora Vitiensis Nova]

More Information

BIODIVERSITY: Nationally endangered (seriously). Comment: Wild form is rare on Pukapuka. The cultivated form is increasingly uncommon in the Southern Group. NBSAP - Te Au-o-Tonga (2 of 4 domestic), NBSAP - Takitumu (4 of 4 domestic plants), NBSAP - Aitutaki (1 of 4 domestic plants), NBSAP - Mauke (3 of 9 domestic plants), NBSAP - Mitiaro (1 of 6 domestic plants), NBSAP - Mangaia (1 of 2 domestic)
POSITIVE SIGNIFICANCE: Medicine, Ornamental FR, Material (Adornment), former Leaf Food. Comments: Formerly leaves cooked and eaten, cf. Taro leaves; and fruit used as bait to catch Tupa [GM, 4/2001].

GENERAL NOTE: Throughout the Cook Islands the form of this species is a cultivar with larger leaves and fruits. Pukapuka has a native or naturalised population of the original form of the species although as of Feb.2004 it was very rare, probably less than six live plants (GMcC, pers.obs.). In ancient Fiji the leaves of the cultivar were used to wrap human flesh for baking, and the flesh was eaten with a sauce made from the fruits of the same plant. Fiji name: Sou Bokola / Borodina. The synonym Solanum anthropophagorum, means "Solanum to eat with man".

Vouchers & References

Pukapuka: fieldspecimen, 2/2004, G.McCormack with ID as Solanum viride.

p.1278 Wagner et al.- Flowering Plants of Hawaii
p.897 Tropica
p.5/021 A.C.Smith - Flora Vitiensis Nova
p.298 I Cheeseman - Flora of Rarotonga
p.96 Wilder - Flora of Rarotonga

Data Update History (information):
zTX, zB02, zM03b, zupM04a, zD02, zupD04a

Web Resources

Citation Information

McCormack, Gerald (2007) Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga. Online at Copy citation to system clipboard
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