American Black Nightshade, Solanum americanum - Plant Profile

American Black Nightshade - Featured Plant

(Solanum americanum)


With over 3000 species, the nightshades (Solanaceae family) include many varieties, one of which is the American Black Nightshade (Solanum americanum). 
black nightshade photo
 by coolforests.org, florence sc

How To Tell The Difference Between American Black Nightshade And Black Nightshade?

When it comes to telling these two commonly confused nightshades apart, let's look at the features of each: 

Black Nightshade (Solanum nigra) - Source, quote: 

Also known as Duscle, Garden Nightshade, Hound’s Berry, Petty Morel, Wonder Berry, Small-fruited Black Nightshade, Popolo
Flower: Regular (actinomorphic). Corolla white, fused, wheel-shaped, 5-lobed, 6–14 mm (2.2–5.8 in.) wide. Calyx fused, campanulate, deeply 5-lobed. Stamens 5, anthers in a conical group. Gynoecium composed of 2 fused carpels. Inflorescence a lax, usually 3–8-flowered cyme.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked. Blade ovate, elliptic or diamond-shaped, thin, margin large-toothed or sometimes entire.
Fruit: Spherical or slightly wider than long, black or sometimes green when ripe, 5–10 mm (0.2–0.4 in.) long berry.
Found in gardens, yards, cultivated land, heaps of earth, wasteland, shores.
Flowers in the summer, between July–October

Another identification source

American Black Nightshade (Solanum americanum) 

Now, let's compare that to American Nightshade (Solanum americanum) 

American nightshade (name also glossy nightshade) is a casual alien in southern Finland’s wastelands and e.g. harbours. It is easiest to differentiate from black nightshade by its small flowers (5–9 mm wide) and leaves which are sparsely toothed at base.

This page (http://ucanr.edu/sites/Weed_Management/files/138785.pdf ) is probably the best identification key comparing the three nightshades, which infers that the American Black Nightshade has shiny berries with more seeds, compared to the Black Nightshade (S. nigra)

Here is a FB group dedicated to identifying black nightshades, as it can get very confusing!

DISCLAIMER - this information may not be accurate. Do not use this information for anything other than research purposes. Comment with corrections if you see any errors, please.

 

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