Scientific NameSolanum nigrum
Leaves: Alternate, petioled, egg-shaped in outline, margins variable either without teeth or shallowly round-toothed. Leaf pubescence is highly variable. Stems: Slender and becoming woody with age, may be round, ridged, ridged with small teeth, with or without hairs.
An annual or short-lived perennial ranging from 1 1/2 to 3 1/3 feet in height. Nightshade with berries that do not contain sclerotic granules, as those in Eastern Black Nightshade (Solanum ptycanthum) do. This species is not found in the eastern United States.
Flower Seed Head
Flowers: Star-shaped, in umbel-like clusters, 4-9 per cluster, white.
Seedling: Cotyledons are covered with short hairs along the margins, midribs evident on lower surface, and petioles are also covered with hairs. Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are hairy and green in color. Roots: Fibrous with shallow taproot. Fruit: A berry, round, 5-10 mm in diameter, green early, turning black or dark green at maturity. Berries do not contain sclerotic granules.
Black nightshade is primarily a weed of agronomic crops, forages, and gardens that is found along the West Coast of the United States only.
Thorns or Spines
Dominant Flower Color
Stem Cross Section
round or oval