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Bittersweet Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara

Common Name: Bittersweet nightshade (a.k.a. European bittersweet, Bitter nightshade, Blue nightshade, Woody nightshade, Poison berry, Climbing nightshade, Scarlet berry, Blue bindweed, Fellenwort)
Scientific Name: Solanum dulcamara
Family: Solanaceae
Growth Form: Herbaceous Vine
Native Range: Europe and Asia
Invasive Range: Most of the U.S.; greatest density in Northeast and North-central regions
Introduction: Bittersweet nightshade was introduced to the United States as an ornamental.
Description: ·Leaves: Alternate; 2 forms; 2-lobed or oval/ovate. Smooth margins. Petioled. Green with a purplish cast. 5-12 cm (2-5 in.) long.

·Stem:  Grows 2-3 meters tall. Can wrap around other plants, trail on ground, or grow upright.

·Flowers: Purple or blue with yellow center.  12-16mm (.5-1 in.) in diameter.  Star shaped.  Petals fused at bottom, but have 5 lobes.

·Fruit: Berry starts green and turns yellow, orange, and finally red.  Berries contain numerous tiny, flat seeds.
Threats: The Bittersweet nightshade sets a large number of seeds, allowing it to reproduce rapidly.  Its vines can strangle trees, and it out-competes native vegetation.
Fun Facts: Both the vegetative parts and fruit of the Bittersweet nightshade are poisonous to all kinds of livestock and to children because they contain the glycoalkaloid solanine.
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Plants
Lobed leaves
Fruit