*Solanum dulcamara L., Sp. Pl. 1: 185 (1753)
T: Habitat in Europe; LINN 248.7, fide Deb in J. Econ.Taxon. Bot. 1: 46 (1980). A discussion and illustration of the lectotype can be found in Knapp & Jarvis, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 104: 337, f. 9 (1990). See the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project
Scrambling perennial shrub, green, slightly to densely pubescent with glandular or simple, non-glandular hairs; prickles absent.
Leaves broadly ovate to ovate-lanceolate; lamina 5.5–8 cm long, 3–4 cm wide, concolorous, entire or upper leaves lobed at base; petiole to 15 mm long.
Inflorescence branched, to 20–flowered; peduncle up to 3 cm long to first fork; pedicels 5–10 mm long. Calyx 2–3 mm long; lobes short. Corolla stellate, 10–12 mm diam., bluish. Anthers 4–4.5 mm long.
Berry ovoid, 5–8 mm diam., bright red. Seeds 2 mm long, pale straw-coloured.
Distribution and ecology
Introduced. Known from only a few collections in Tas.
Bittersweet, Woody Nightshade
A member of subg. Potatoe, species of which are usually creepers or vines with deeply lobed leaves and lacking spines or stellate hairs. American in origin.
Other species of this group in Australia are S. laxum, S. palitans, S. seaforthianum, S. triflorum and S. tuberosum.
Cultivated in eastern Europe as a possible source of alkaloid and steroid drugs. Information about its long herbal use can be found at http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nighwo06.html or http://www.botanical-online.com/alcaloidesdulcamaraangles.htm
Known to be toxic to stock in Europe and North America; no known cases of poisoning recorded in Australia.
Tas.: Hobart, 20 Jan. 1943, W.M. Curtis (HO).
From the web
An image of a flowering and fruiting stem with leaves can be found on the Bean interactive key site at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/sol_dul_215.jpg
Further information about this species can be accessed through the Plants Profile site of the US Department of Agriculture.
An image of the flowers and leaves can be seen on the Harmful Plants of the Rutgers University site.
And there are others at http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Solanum_dulcamara_page.html