Scientific Name: Solanum carolinense

Common Name: horsenettle

Other Common Names: bullnettle

Habit: A prickly plant with prickles on the stems and leaves, stems are upright and branching with a dense rhizomatous root system spreading as far as 1m. May reproduce by seed or rhizomes.

Leaves: Sandpaper like texture with prickles along stalks and veins usually having 2-3 lobes and hairs on both sides. 2.75 to 4.75 inches (7 to 12 cm) long and 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 cm) wide.

Identifying Characteristics: White star shaped flowers similar to that of potato, prickles covering stems and leaves, with berry like fruit containing several small seeds.

Flower Seed Head: Appear in June, similar to potato, with white or purple petals and yellow center. They are found on the terminal end of a spiky branch.

Seed Fruit: Smooth round berries, like small tomatoes, that are green and then turn yellow when mature and contain 40-170 round, flat, orangish seeds.

Where Found: Spreading northward from the Southeastern United States to Canada and Texas, horsenettle likes dry sandy soils and is found in orchards, nursery crops, pastures, flower beds, open woodlands, and is sometimes found in conventional tillage situations.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Present

  • Plant family: Solanaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Leaf margin: lobed

  • Flower color: white; purple

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Root structure: fibrous; taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf