Scientific Name: Solanum elaeagnifolium

Common Name: silverleaf nightshade

Leaves: Leaves: Arranged alternately along the stem, linear to oblong in outline, ranging from 2 to 6 inches in length. Leaves are covered with star-shaped hairs and have a silver to grayish cast. Stems: Stems may reach as much as 3 1/3 feet in height. Stems are branching and usually have spines. Stems also have a silver to grayish cast and are covered with star-shaped hairs.

Identifying Characteristics: The grayish or silvery cast that is typical of the leaves and stems of silverleaf nightshade helps to distinguish this weed from most others.

Flower Seed Head: Roots: Fibrous roots with rhizomes. Flowers: Consist of purple to blue petals and a yellow center (anthers) that collectively resemble a star. Flowers occur in clusters at the ends of stems.

Seed Fruit: Fruit: A round berry, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. Berries are green when immature and turn yellow to brown with maturity Seedlings: Cotyledons are linear and covered with hairs. Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are covered with hairs and often purple-tinged.

Where Found: Silverleaf nightshade is primarily a weed of agronomic crops, pastures, hay fields, and roadsides that is distributed throughout the southeastern United States.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Present

  • Plant family: Solanaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: wavy

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: purple

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: trifoliate

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Flower diameter: larger

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf