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Solanum americanum Mill.
Glossy Nightshade

Gard.Dict. Edn. 8, no. 5 (1768)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Erect or spreading, short-lived perennial, herb or shrub, 0.45-2 m high. Fl. white, Mar to Apr or Jun to Dec. Sandy soils. Along rivers & around lakes.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 21 September 1999


IBRA Regions
Dampierland, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Indian Tropical Islands, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Victoria Bonaparte, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Keep, Perth, Pindanland, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Bayswater, Belmont, Broome, Busselton, Canning, Christmas Island, Cockburn, Esperance, Harvey, Irwin, Manjimup, Melville, Murray, Northampton, Perth, Plantagenet, Ravensthorpe, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, South Perth, Stirling, Swan, Wanneroo, Wyndham-East Kimberley.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. American Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Small-flowered Nightshade.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Birds, mammals, water, soil, machinery. Toxicity. Immature fruit is poisonous.

Notes. Widely naturalised in the tropics. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female parts) and are insect-pollinated. Shade reduces seed production. Requires moist soil. Has proteins that act as defense against insects. Species in the Solanum nigrum complex (including S. americanum) differ in susceptibility to herbicides, especially to chlorsulfuron and surfactants, and biotypes are resistant to paraquat. Declared weed in the United States.

Additional information. Origin. North and South America. History of use/introduction. Food, medicines. Similar exotic species. Solanum nigrum.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand weed small infestations. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Germination         U U U            
Active Growth           Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Flowering     Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y       O O O O Y Y Y Y  
Manual Removal Y O O O O O Y Y Y Y Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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  • Chase, C.A., Bewick, T.A. & Shilling, D.G. (1998) Characterization of Paraquat resistance in Solanum americanum mill. I. Paraquat uptake, translocation, and compartmentalization. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 60 (1): 13-22.
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  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (2009) Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: - Accessed October 2009.
  • Xu, Z-F., Qi, W-Q., Ouyang, X-Z., Yeung, E. & Chye, M-L. (2001) A proteinase inhibitor II of Solanum americanum is expressed in phloem. Plant Molecular Biology, 47 (6): 727-738.