Solanum seaforthianum Andr.

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Solanum seaforthianum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

Solanum seaforthianum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Marydale Point Lake Chivero Recreational Park

Solanum seaforthianum

Photo: Mark Hyde
Carolina Wilderness

Solanum seaforthianum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Shaneragh rd, Mandara, Harare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names: Brazilian nightshade (English) Climbing nightshade (English) Potato creeper (English) St Vincent lilac (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Introduced
Creeper or climber, to 7 m or more. Leaves: petiole 1-2.5 cm; lamina c.7 × 5 cm, elliptic to obovate in outline, variously dissected, but mainly pinnatifid to partly pinnate. Leaflets or lobes variable in size, the terminal the largest, ± elliptic, sparsely pubescent to glabrous; base cuneate; apex acuminate; margin entire. Flowers in a terminal branched cyme. Pedicels 1-1.5 cm, thickened below the flower. Calyx very shallowly lobed. Petals 8-12 mm, blue, mauve or purple; anthers yellow. Flowers 10-15 mm in diameter. Fruits 6-9 mm in diameter, spherical, red.
Notes: Introduced as a garden ornamental and commonly naturalised.
Derivation of specific name: seaforthianum: named after Lord Seaforth who sent a specimen to England from the West Indies
Habitat: Widely naturalised and found climbing amongst shrubs and trees in woodland, often on anthills.
Altitude range: (metres) 840 - 1520 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native of the Caribbean area (Mexico to Nicaragua and the West Indies)
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Climber.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Monday 21 April 2014

Gonçalves, A.E. (2005). Solanaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(4) Pages 79 - 81. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 330. (Includes a picture).

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 108. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 106.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 178.


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Other sources of information about Solanum seaforthianum:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Solanum seaforthianum
Flora of Malawi: Solanum seaforthianum
Flora of Mozambique: Solanum seaforthianum
Flora of Zambia: Solanum seaforthianum
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Solanum seaforthianum

External websites:

African Plant Database: Solanum seaforthianum
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Solanum seaforthianum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Solanum seaforthianum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Solanum seaforthianum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Solanum seaforthianum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Solanum seaforthianum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Solanum seaforthianum
Ispot Southern Africa : Solanum seaforthianum
JSTOR Plant Science: Solanum seaforthianum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Solanum seaforthianum
Tropicos: Solanum seaforthianum
West African Plants database: Solanum seaforthianum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Solanum seaforthianum., retrieved 28 October 2016

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