*Solanum douglasii Dun. in DC., Prodr. 13: 48 (1852)

T: ? In Novae Californiae, 1833, D. Douglas s. n. ; ?holo: G-DC (ex herb. Soc. Hort. London)


Soft-wooded perennial 1-1.5 m , puberulent to sub-glabrous, stem angles rough pubescent.

Petiole 1-2.5 cm, lamina 2-10 cm long, ovate, sinuate-dentate, apex sub-acuminate, base cuneate to sub-truncate.

Peduncle 1-3 cm long, erect or ascending, pedicels 0.5-1.2 cm, calyx 2-3 mm long, lobes lanceolate-oblong. Corolla 1-2 cm diam., stellate, white with greenish basal spots. Anthers 3-4 mm long.

Berry 6-9 mm diam., dull black; sclerotic granules usually less than 10, Seeds 1.5 mm long, off-white, finely reticulate.  n=12.

Distribution and ecology

Part of the S. nigrum group and not well known in Australia; apparently confined to Victoria.


Part of the S. nigrum or "Black nightshade" group of species, usually referred to as cosmopolitan weeds and usually thought to have originated in the Americas. They are characterised by their lack of prickles and stellate hairs, their white flowers and their green or black fruits arranged in an umbelliform fashion.

The species can be difficult to distinguish. Other species to occur in Australia are S. americanum, S. chenopodioides, S. furcatum, S. nigrum, S. opacum, S. physalifolium, S. retroflexum, S. sarrachoides, S. scabrum and S. villosum.

S. douglasii is not easily separated from S. furcatum.

A useful reference to the Black Nightshades is J. M. Edmonds & J. A. Chweya, The Black Nightshades. Solanum nigrum and its related species. Int. Plant. Genetic Res. Inst. Rome (1997).

Derivation of epithet

Named for David Douglas (1798-1834), collector of the type specimen. Douglas was a Scottish collector of plants who collected in North America between 1823 and 1834. He was responsible for introducing a number of American plants into cultivation in Europe.


Selected specimens

Vic: Billy Creek, Morwell, K. Harris 3 (AD, MEL).

From the web

A selection of images of S. douglasii can be seen on the CalPhotos site

Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.