Solanum carolinense

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. carolinense
Scientific Name
Solanum carolinense
L.
Common Names

horsenettle, Carolina horsenettle, apple of Sodom, bull nettle, devil's tomato, horsenettle, sand briar

Overview

Appearance
Solanum carolinense is a perennial that can reproduce by seed or rhizomes. It has spines on the leaves and stems and can grow up to 3 ft. (0.9 m) in height.
Foliage
Leaves are elliptic-oblong to oval, alternate, petioled, 2.5-4.5 in. (6.4-11.4 cm) long and covered on both surfaces with hairs. Leaves also emit a potato odor when crushed, and contain prominent prickles on the petiole. Stems are angled at the nodes, become woody with age, and also have prickles and hairs.
Flowers
Flowers occur in clusters and are star-shaped with 5 white to violet petals and a yellow center.
Fruit
The fruit is a berry, green when immature, turning yellow and wrinkled with maturity.
Ecological Threat
S. carolinense is native to the United States. All parts of the plants, except the mature fruit, are capable of poisoning livestock if eaten in sufficient quantity, however consumption rarely occurs due to the prickly stems and leaves. It is a weed of perennial crops and can be weedy in reduced-tillage crops like corn and small grains. It grows best on well-drained soils. Use gloves when handling the plant.

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