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

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 33.

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 Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Solanum seaforthianum
African Plant Database: Solanum seaforthianum
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Solanum seaforthianum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Solanum seaforthianum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Solanum seaforthianum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Solanum seaforthianum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Solanum seaforthianum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Solanum seaforthianum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Solanum seaforthianum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Solanum seaforthianum
Ispot Southern Africa: Solanum seaforthianum
JSTOR Plant Science: Solanum seaforthianum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Solanum seaforthianum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Solanum seaforthianum
The Plant List (version 1.1): Solanum seaforthianum
Tropicos: Solanum seaforthianum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-17

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2017). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Solanum seaforthianum., retrieved 18 December 2017

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