Line drawing by M. Szent Ivany, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 151, fig. 55.

Sketch of fruits by D. E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gards 4 (1981) 339, fig. 156G.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium .


*Solanum dimidiatum Raf., Aut. Bot. 8: 107 (1840)

T: Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas; n.v. 

[S. carolinense auct. non L.: H.E. Kleinschmidt & R.W. Johnson, Weeds Queensland 202 (1979)]


Clonal perennial herb to 50 cm, green, pubescent with minute stellate hairs; prickles to 7 mm long, scattered on midrib of lower leaf-surface, petioles and stems.  

Leaves ovate to broadly lanceolate; lamina 5–12 cm long, 3–7 cm wide, slightly discolorous, lobed; lobes broadly triangular to oblong; petiole 1–4 cm long.  

Inflorescence often forked, few–15–flowered; peduncle 1–2 cm long to first fork; rachis 2–5 cm long; pedicels 1 cm long. Calyx 8–10 mm long; lobes broadly triangular with slender apex, 3–5 mm long. Corolla stellate, shallowly incised, 30–40 mm diam., violet. Anthers 5–7 mm long.  

Berry globular, 15–20 mm diam., yellow. Seeds 2.5–4 mm long, pale buff. n=36.

Distribution and ecology

Native to south-eastern U.S.A. Introduced to Australia and naturalised in the Bundaberg area, Qld, where associated with the sugar cane industry.

Bean (2004) records that the species was targetted for eradication and has not been seen since 1972.

Common name

Western horsenettle, Torrey's nightshade


While considered to be part of the subg. Leptostemonum its relationships within the group are not known further. It was not part of the Levin et al. (2006) molecular analysis of the subgenus.





Plant status, if any

Previously declared as a noxious weed in Qld (as S. carolinense L., a name misapplied to the species), but the successful eradication programme has presumably meant its removal from the list of Declared Plants since it is no longer to be found there. See Navie, S. (2004). Declared Plants of Australia . An identification and information system. (Centre for Biological Information Technology, Brisbane).

The very closely related S. carolinense which occurs on the North Island of New Zealand is still the subject of ongoing eradication programmes there (see for example Environment Waikato) but it has been removed from their National Plant Pest Accord List

From the web

A series of images of S. dimidiatum can be seen on the Dave’s Garden site.
Further information about this species can be accessed through the Plants Profile site of the US Department of Agriculture.

Images of S. dimidiatum are available at the Digital Flora of Texas site and on the CalPhotos site.

Images and information on this species in California can also be accessed through the Encycloweedia pages at