Solanum dulcamara
Family Solanaceae

* Flowers purple and sometimes white, with 5 swept-back petals. A yellow "beak" formed by the flower's anthers protrudes from the flower's center.
* Leaves oval-shaped and pointed, with 2 small ovate lobes at the base.
* Fruits egg-shaped berries in drooping clusters; green and turning to ruby red.
* Height: 2-8'.

Natural History:
* Flowers May - September.
* Habitat: Moist thickets.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Introduced from Europe.

* In 1785, botanist Manasseh Cutler called the nightshade Tivertwig and American Mezerion. He wrote that "farmers apply it to swellings in cows bags. Physicians of distinguished characters say, that the roots answer as valuable a purpose, in venereal cases, as the mezereon." Mezereon was once an important medicine, used to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, and various other illnesses.

* Nightshades are in the tomato family.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008