Ontario Weeds: Hairy nightshade
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarachoides
Other Names: morelle poilue, morelle sarachoide, Cupped nightshade, Potatoweed
Family: Nightshade or Potato Family (Solanaceae)
General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.
B. Cluster of flowers.
Stems & Roots: Stem branching
and softly hairy, up to 1m (40in.) long, spreading or erect; leaves
alternate, ovate, to nearly triangular (resembling some leaves of
dull green to gray-green, thick and opaque to transmitted light,
1.5-10cm (3/5-4in.) long, usually finely hairy, especially along
margins and main veins; some of these hairs with tiny glandular
tips (seen under magnification), giving the plant a slightly sticky
or clammy texture; margins of leaves usually smooth but occasionally
with coarse, irregular, rounded teeth.
Flowers & Fruit: Inflorescence of 3-9 flowers in a short raceme sticking out from the side of the stem rather than from the axil of a leaf; corolla white or tinged with bluish-purple; calyx at first small but enlarging with age to 4-9mm (1/6-2/5in.) across at maturity and acting as a cup around the lower half (stem end) of the fruit; fruit a greenish berry turning yellowish-brown to brown at maturity. Flowers from July to October.
Habitat: A native of South America, Hairy nightshade is found in southern Ontario in cultivated fields on both mineral and muck soils.
Similar Species: It is distinguished by its relatively small, thick, non-translucent leaves, its stem and leaves being finely hairy and slightly sticky or clammy, its inflorescence a short raceme, its calyx enlarging with age and partially enclosing the base of the fruit, and its fruit turning yellowish-brown to brown at maturity.
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