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Horsenettle, Bullnettle

Solanum carolinense L.

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)

▲▼ young sprout from creeping roots

▲ ▼ young flowering plants


spines on stems

▲▼ flowers


▲ ▼ immature and mature fruit



▲ stem showing section of deep, creeping root 

Horsenettle, Bull nettle

o   spiny creeping perennial weed that spreads by creeping roots (similar to groundcherries)

o   spiny stems, leaf undersides; grows 6-24" tall

o   flowers white/lavender; marble-sized, yellow, tomato-like fruit

o   prefers sandy soils, but will grow in all but very wet or compacted soils

o   alternate host for the potato beetle, and should be controlled if potatoes will be grown in the area

o   can be controlled by post-emergent herbicides and shading

o   Similar species, Robust Horsenettle:

         Flowers almost always purplish or purple-tinged

         Leaves have larger, more rounded lobes than horsenettle

         Leaf undersides have branched hairs with 8-12 branches per hair

o   Another similar species, Silverleaf Nightshade:

         Flowers almost always purple or blue

         Leaves and stems are covered in whitish hairs, giving them a silvery appearance; stems and leaves may or may not have spines

         Stems usually unbranched until flowering commences; fruit is similar to horsenettle






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