Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Solanum americanum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SolanaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules 0; blade entire to deeply lobed. Inflorescence: various. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla +- radial, cylindric to rotate, lobes generally 5; stamens 5, on corolla tube, alternate lobes; ovary superior, generally 2-chambered, style 1. Fruit: berry, loculicidal or septicidal capsule, [(drupe)], 2--5-chambered.
Genera In Family: 75 genera, 3000 species: worldwide, especially +- tropics; many alien weeds in California; many cultivated for food, drugs, or ornamental (potato, tomato, peppers, tobacco, petunia). Toxicity: many TOXIC. Note: Nicandra physalodes (L.) Gaertn. is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael H. Nee
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SolanumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub, vine or not, prickly or not, often glandular. Leaf: alternate to +- opposite, often unequal, entire to deeply pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: panicle or umbel-like, often 1-sided. Flower: calyx +- bell-shaped; corolla +- rotate, white to purple (yellow), lobes generally of different color toward base of midrib, generally without spots at base; anthers free, > filaments, oblong or tapered, opening by 2 pores or short slits near tip, in age often splitting to base; ovary 2-chambered, style 1, generally +- straight, stigma head-like. Fruit: berry, generally spheric, fleshy (or dry, capsule-like). Seed: many, compressed, generally reniform.
Species In Genus: +- 1500 species: worldwide, especially tropical America. Etymology: (Latin: quieting, from narcotic properties) Toxicity: many TOXIC. Note: Many cultivated for food (including potato, Solanum tuberosum), ornamental; Solanum dimidiatum in California an urban weed. See Lycopersicon for other taxa recently included here.

Solanum americanum Mill.
Habit: Annual to subshrub, 3--8 dm, hairs +- 0 or short, +- appressed or curved, nonglandular. Leaf: 2--15 cm, ovate, entire to coarsely wavy-toothed. Inflorescence: umbel- or raceme-like. Flower: calyx 1--2 mm, lobes in fruit recurved; corolla 3--6 mm wide, deeply lobed, white; anthers 1.4--2.2 mm; style 2.5--4 mm. Fruit: 5--8 mm, black or +- green. Seed: 1--1.5 mm. Chromosomes: n=12.
Ecology: Open, often disturbed places; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, DMoj (uncommon); Distribution Outside California: to Canada, eastern United States, Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Nov Note: Much like Solanum nigrum.
Synonyms: Solanum nodiflorum Jacq.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael H. Nee
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botanical illustration including Solanum americanum


Citation for this treatment: Michael H. Nee 2017. Solanum americanum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 24, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 24, 2017.

Solanum americanum
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© 2009 Steve Matson
Solanum americanum
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Solanum americanum
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Solanum americanum
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Solanum americanum
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Solanum americanum
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Solanum americanum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Solanum americanum:
CA-FP, DMoj (uncommon);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.