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Identifying Unknown Plants/Meanest plant in town!

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Spiney Plant
Spiney Plant  

Spiney Plant - thorns on stems
Spiney Plant - thorns  
This popped up in our front yard, in west central Florida, a couple of weeks ago.  We let it grow a little to see what it would be.

The answer so far is "awful".  

It is currently about 6 inches tall, and there is a cluster of 4 of the same plants nearby.
There are sharp, stiff spikes on the stems, and on the ribs of the leaves, tops and bottoms of each leaf.  
The leaves themselves are light green and appear velvety, but actually have small hair-like stickers, like some cactus plants.  

Sending pix of the plant, and a leaf - top and bottom.

We have seen some tough plants since moving to Florida, but this one lookes armed to the teeth!  Thanks for any help identifying it.  And btw, any reason not to dig it up, carefully, and get rid of it?

Answer
Hi Karen,

This is a weed from South America called Soda Apple (Solanum viarum).  Besides being armed with spines, it is also toxic and invasive.  I don't usually talk bad about plants, but unless this Nightshade turns out to be a cure for cancer (which they are researching), I see no redeeming features.  Use google images to see what it looks like when mature.  I don't think a small lavender flower and yellow (poison) fruit can entirely make up for it's other defects.  Yank it before it has a chance to spread seeds everywhere.
Thanks,
Susan

Identifying Unknown Plants

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Susan Tabor

Expertise

I can identify most weeds, ornamentals,and wild plants by description or photo. If it is completely unknown to me, I can usually type info into a botanical search engine and find it. I am familiar with unusual plants from all over the world.

Experience

Thirty-five years of research and experience in horticulture.

Education/Credentials
You already have that information. I'm just listing myself in a new catagory.

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