Solanum americanum – American Black Nightshade
Scientific Name: Solanum americanum
Synonyms: Solanum caribaeum, S. fistulosum, S. hermannii, S. linnaeanum, S. nigrum var. americanum, S. nigrum var. virginicum, S. nodiflorum, S. sodomeum
Common Names: American Black Nightshade, White Nightshade, Smallflower Nightshade
Duration: Annual, Perennial
Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland, Riparian. This weedy plant grows in riparian areas, agricultural areas, and in disturbed areas with a little extra water like drainage ditches.
Flower Color: White to tinged purple
Flowering Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. It blooms sporadically throughout much of the year whenever conditions are right.
Height: To 30 inches (76 cm) tall
Description: The flowers are small and have 5 narrow, point-tipped, often reflexed lobes and a beak of yellow stamens. The flowers are followed by round, green berries that ripen to a shiny black. The leaves are green above and below, glabrous to fuzzy, oval in shape, petioled, and either smooth-edged or edged with large, rounded teeth.
The very similar West Indian nightshade (Solanum ptycanthum) is mostly hairless and can have leaves with purple undersides.
Poisonous – The plants, especially the leaves and green fruit, are poisonous and contain the glycoalkaloid solanine as well as the tropane alkaloids scopolamine (hyoscine) and hyoscyamine (an isomer of atropine).
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Solanaceae – Potato family
Genus: Solanum L. – nightshade
Species: Solanum americanum Mill. – American black nightshade
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