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Climbing Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade, Woody Nightshade, European Bittersweet, Fellenwort, Blue Nightshade - Solanum dulcamara


Family: Solanaceae - Potato family Genus Common Name: Nightshade Native Status: IntroducedDicot Perennial Subshrub Herb
Solanum dulcamara - Climbing Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade, Woody Nightshade, European Bittersweet, Fellenwort, Blue Nightshade. Introduced from Europe, this plant is now found in much of the United States. It is a member of the Solanaceae family, which contains many edible plants, such as the potato, the tomato, and some peppers, but also includes some quite poisonous plants such as Belladonna (Atropa belladonna.) The Solanum genus itself (the Nightshades) contains potato and tomato, and some parts most plants in the genus (the potato included) are poisonous at different times in their life-cycle. The leaves and unripened berries of Solanum dulcamara are said to be somewhat poisonous, although the bright red, ripened berry is reported to be edible in small quantities - but donít eat any part of this plant based on my say-so!

Found in:
CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Solanum dulcamara

Distribution of Solanum dulcamara in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 29 May 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Hellís Canyon Park, Adams County, ID Date: 2012-May-28Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
The blossoms of Climbing Nightshade are blue or violet, with 5 lobes (petal-like structures.) There are normally green dots at the base of the lobes. The yellow stamens are usually fused into a cone in the center.
Solanum dulcamara

Site: Bell Cove of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada Date: 2015-August-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
There are normally green dots at the base of the corolla lobes. The yellow stamens are usually fused into a cone in the center.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Solanum dulcamara

Site: Boise, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-11Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The corolla lobes bend backward shortly after opening. The yellow stamens are usually fused into a cone with the pistil extending from the center.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Solanum dulcamara

Site: Hellís Canyon Park, Adams County, ID Date: 2012-May-28Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves are petioled, and many will have a pair of smaller lobes at the base. The lower stems of the plant may form a woody shrub. The stems are glabrous to somewhat hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Solanum dulcamara

Site: Deer Flat National Wildlife Preserve, Canyon County, ID Date: 2010-June-07Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The upper part of the plant is a herbaceous vine which can reach up to 10í long. If the leaves do not have a pair of smaller lobes at the base, they will be cordate.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Solanum dulcamara

Site: Bell Cove of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada Date: 2015-August-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Many of the leaves will have a pair of smaller lobes at the base. The stems are glabrous to somewhat hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Solanum dulcamara

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer