Solanum fendleri – Fendler's Horsenettle

Solanum fendleri - Fendler's Horsenettle, Fendler's Potato, Wild Potato (purple flowers)

Solanum fendleri - Fendler's Horsenettle, Fendler's Potato, Wild Potato

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Solanum fendleri

Synonym: Solanum stoloniferum

Common Names: Fendler's Horsenettle, Fendler's Potato, Wild Potato

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

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).

Special Characteristics

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
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae – Potato family
Genus: Solanum L. – nightshade
Species: Solanum fendleri A. Gray ex Torr. – Fendler's horsenettle

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map