Scientific Name: Solanum fendleri
Synonym: Solanum stoloniferum
Common Names: Fendler's Horsenettle, Fendler's Potato, Wild Potato
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Mountain. Fendler's Horsenettle grows in rich, organic soil in pine forests.
Flower Color: Purple to blue, White
Flowering Season: Summer, Fall (early)
Height: To 20 inches (50 cm) tall
Description: The flowers are flat, round, 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and have 5 pointed lobes and a yellow beak of stamens. The flowers are followed by small, green to white fruits. The leaves are green to tinged purple below, hairy, alternate, and pinnately compound with usually 5 or 7 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets. The terminal (end) leaflet is larger than the other leaflets. The plants have both stolons and small, rounded, white or purple tubers (potatoes).
Edible – Although small, the starchy, potato-like tubers are edible if cooked. The raw tubers are very astringent and were only eaten by the Native Americans when other foods were scarce.
Poisonous – Like other Solanum species, the foliage and unripe fruit are most likely poisonous.
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 fendleri A. Gray ex Torr. – Fendler's horsenettle
More About This Plant