Jun 14 2017

Nightshade in the Garden

Published by at 6:40 am under Phenology,Plants

Bittersweet Nightshade (photo by Chuck Tague)

Bittersweet Nightshade (photo by Chuck Tague)

Last week Anne Marie Bosnyak sent me a photo, below, of a plant that popped up in her garden.

It has purple flowers and tomato-like fruit. It’s obviously growing in the wrong place.  Is it a weed?

Bittersweet nightshade out of place in the garden (photo by Anne Marie Bosnyak)

Bittersweet nightshade out of place in the garden (photo by Anne Marie Bosnyak)

Well, yes.

It’s bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), a perennial from Eurasia that’s considered invasive in Pennsylvania.

Did you know it’s related to potatoes?  Don’t eat it!  Read on.

Not Tomatoes!


(flower photo by Chuck Tague, plant photo by Anne Marie Bosnyak)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Nightshade in the Garden”

  1. Kate Ron 14 Jun 2017 at 7:51 am

    Do any birds eat the berries from this nightshade?

  2. Kate St. Johnon 14 Jun 2017 at 8:27 am

    Kate R, Wikipedia says that some birds eat bittersweet nightshade berries and disperse the seeds. I don’t know which species eat it but I do know that many birds are immune to things we can’t eat, such as poison ivy berries.

  3. Lauraon 14 Jun 2017 at 10:33 pm

    You’re awesome Kate, keep chirpin’!

  4. Lisa Simpsonon 15 Jun 2017 at 7:33 pm

    If you pull up this weed, make sure you get it all and that it doesn’t break off. Every little piece left behind will become a new plant. I pull tons of it every year from my rose hedge. I think the birds that eat my rose hips leave new nightshade seeds as they go. Constant battle!

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