Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Solanaceae
Solanum elaeagnifolium

Citation: Cav., Icon. 3:22, t. 243 (1795).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Silver-leaved nightshade, silver nightshade, white horse nettle.

An erect suckering herbaceous perennial to 1 m, often 40-60 cm high, extensive underground root system producing usually annual vegetative growth; stems erect, branching towards the top; prickles 2-5 mm long, straight, fine, often reddish, usually present on stems, less often on petioles and leaves, plants sometimes nearly free of prickles; all parts covered with a close dense tomentum of stellate hairs, general appearance silvery-green, rarely rusty, slightly discolorous; lower leaves c. 10 x 4 cm, oblong-lanceolate, distinctly sinuate-undulate, upper leaves smaller, oblong, entire, venation usually prominent in dried specimens, base rounded or cuneate, apex acute or obtuse; petiole 0.5-2 cm long, with or without prickles.

Inflorescence a 1-4-flowered raceme, at first terminal, soon lateral; peduncle 0.5-1 cm long; floral rhachis 2-3 cm long; pedicels c. 1 cm long at anthesis, reflexed and lengthened to 2-3 cm long in fruit; calyx c. 1 cm long at anthesis; tube c. 5 mm long, more or less 5-ribbed by nerves of 5 subulate lobes, whole enlarging in fruit; corolla 2-3 cm diam., rotate-stellate, often reflexed, blue, rarely pale-blue, white, deep-purple, or pinkish; anthers 5-8 mm long, slender, tapered towards the apex, yellow, conspicuous, erect, not coherent; filaments 3-4 mm long; ovary pubescent towards the summit; style 10-15 mm long.

Fruit 8-14 mm diam., globular, first marbled-green, later greenish-yellow to orange-brown, usually firm, not succulent; seeds c. 3 x 2 mm diam., flat or biconvex, light-brown, smooth.

image of FSA3_Solanum_ela.jpg Flowering and fruiting branch and a fruit.
Image source: fig. 574D in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 593; Parsons (1973) Noxious weeds of Victoria, p. 269.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: EA, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   All mainland States; native to southern America but now a widespread weed in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Nov. — March.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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