Botany Blog Plants of the Northeastern U.S.

August 13, 2012

Buffalobur Nightshade

Filed under: Naturalized Plants,North American Native Plants — admin @ 19:44

Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum) is a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) that is native to the Great Plains. It has been introduced, presumably accidentally, well outside its native range. The plants shown here were recently found in Onondaga County, NY. It is a somewhat attractive plant in flower but the stems and calyces are covered in stiff spines. Plants have a spreading habit.

Buffalobur Nighshade habit

Flowers have yellow petals and 5 stamens; 4 stamens are of equal length and the fifth elongate and curved

Solanum rostratum flowers

The fruit is a berry that remains enclosed in the calyx which is beset with vicious spines

Solanum rostratum fruit

The leaves are deeply pinnately lobed. This species is in the same genus as potato and is vulnerable to damage from the same insects.

Solanum rostratum leaf



  1. Seeds wanted in Europe. Is anybody able do sell them?

    Comment by joozwa — October 15, 2012 @ 12:22

  2. I believe this is the native host of the Colorado potato beetle. Settlers planting cultivated solanum as they moved west gave the beetle a “green bridge” to expand its range across N America.

    Comment by stevec — February 16, 2013 @ 14:16

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