E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Solanum americanum Mill.
American black nightshade (black nightshade)
Solanaceae (Potato family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jeanne Ross  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24105)

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Distribution of Solanum americanum
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Solanum species are distinctive plants in the Potato or Tomato Family, with 'tomato' type flowers that have typical recurved petals and bright yellow stamens, and alternate leaves.

Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, single, branches, smooth or more or less appressed short-hairy above, 15-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves lacking; stems leaves egg-shaped to deltoid, irregularly toothed to nearly entire, 2-8 cm long, 1-5.5 cm wide, stalked.
Inflorescence a few-flowered axillary cluster on an ascending stalk; corollas white to faintly bluish, 5-10 mm wide, lobed, the lobes bent back; calyces 2-3 mm long at maturity, not cupping the fruit, lobed, the lobes unequal.
Berries, globe-shaped, black, 8 mm wide, shiny, seeds 1-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry waste places in the lowland and steppe zones; infrequent in S BC; probably introduced from E or S US.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Solanum americanum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 118 837 1556
Slope Gradient (%) 55 55 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
324 324 324
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(1), ESSF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Solanum americanum var. nodiflorum (Jacq.) Edmonds
Solanum americanum var. patulum (L.) Edmonds
Solanum caribaeum Dunal
Solanum fistulosum Dunal ex Poir.
Solanum hermannii Dunal
Solanum linnaeanum Hepper & P.-M. L. Jaeger
Solanum nigrum var. americanum (Mill.) O.E. Schulz
Solanum nigrum var. virginicum L.
Solanum nodiflorum Jacq.
Solanum sodomeum auct. non L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References