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Solanum ptycanthum

Solanum ptycanthum

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. ptycanthum
Binomial name
Solanum ptycanthum

Solanum ptycanthum, eastern black nightshade or West Indian nightshade, is an annual or occasionally a perennial in the Solanaceae or Nightshade Family. The is 15-60 cm tall, and is much branched. All parts of the plant contain solanine, and are poisonous. The main symptom of poisoning is gastrointestinal irritation.

Additional recommended knowledge

The leaves of Eastern black nightshade are triangular to elliptic. The stems are circular, and sometimes slightly hairy. The flowers are small, white, and star-shaped. They are located in small umbels of 5-7. The flowers ripen into glossy, black berries, each 10 mm in diameter and containing between 50 and 100 seeds. The fruits are not poisonous, which allows birds to eat and disperse the seeds.


Eastern black nightshade grows in landscapes, and most crops. It is most likely to be found growing near crops of related species such as tomatoes and potatoes. It can grow on sandy and poor soil, but prefers fertile and cultivated soil types. Eastern black nightshade is found principally in the Eastern United States.

As a Weed

Eastern black nightshade is not a strong competitor with most crops. It is, however, shade tolerant and so an infestation can survive and continue to grow even in the shade of crop plants. There are no easy chemical methods for controlling Eastern black nightshade, but night tillage reduces emergence by 50% to 75%. Planting soybeans in 7.5-inch rows also reduces growth significantly, and is the recommended method of control.


  • Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. Ditomaso, Weeds of The Northeast, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), Pp. 318-319.
  • A. Davis, K. Renner, C. Sprague, L. Dyer, D. Mutch (2005). Integrated Weed Management. MSU.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Solanum_ptycanthum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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