Scientific Name: Solanum nigrum

Common Name: black nightshade

Leaves: 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.

Identifying Characteristics: 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 (<a href='../../weedimg/481'>Solanum ptycanthum</a>) 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.

Seed Fruit: 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.

Where Found: Black nightshade is primarily a weed of agronomic crops, forages, and gardens that is found along the West Coast of the United States only.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Present

  • Plant family: Solanaceae

  • Leaf shape: oval; triangle

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: has hairs; no hairs

  • Flower color: blue; white

  • Growth habit: vine

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: pinnate

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs