The shoo-fly plant, Nicandra physalodes, is a species of flowering plant in the nightshade family.

shoo fly plant
Photo: Shoo Fly Plant - Wikimedia Commons

It is known by both the common names apple-of-Peru and shoo-fly plant.

Originally thought to have been native to western South America, including Peru, it is now a weed in tropical, subtropical and, to a lesser extent, temperate areas all over the world. It has also long been cultivated as an ornamental plant for its attractive flowers and curious fruits, which are sometimes dried for use in floral design. Papery tissue covers the rounded fruits, which eventually open to release small, brown seeds. While thought to repel flies, the shoo-fly plant has been used in the South as a poisoned bait for houseflies and blow flies by mixing the juice of the plant with milk. The genus is named for the Greek scientist, Nycander, who wrote treatises on plants more than 2000 years ago.