Solanum nigrum L.

Family: Solanaceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

black nightshade

Primary Disseminule Types

fruit (not likely to be dispersed directly to grape bunches), seed

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a berry with numerous seeds, globose, dull, typically black or purplish-black but can be green or yellow, 6–13 mm in diameter, lacking stone cells.

Seed ± obovate to D-shaped in outline, typically notched along margin ± where hilum occurs, strongly compressed, cross-section narrowly elliptic to fusiform, (1.5)1.7–2.5 mm long x 0.9–1.7 mm wide x (0.2)0.4–0.6 mm thick. Surface semiglossy, may be particularly dull or rough when dried bits of the mucilaginous envelope remain; otherwise, surface is reticulate-pitted, with the sinuous cell walls forming a maze of minute undulating ridges (may also have striations or appressed hair-like or scale-like cell wall structures on top of the reticulations and interspaces), nearly white or yellow to greenish-yellow or orangish-brown.

Hilum marginal, sometimes just below notch, linear to narrowly elliptic, whitish (lighter than testa), 0.2–0.4 mm long.

Similar Species

Compare to Similar Species of Solanum and Similar Species of Lycium & Physalis.

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)