Sep
30

Weed Diary no.2 Brazilian Nightshade

 Gardening Tips


Brazilian Nightshade

Family – Solanaceae
Genus - Solanum
Species - seaforthianum



Brazilian Nightshade is a native of tropical South America and is an invasive environmental weed which has become naturalised in rainforests and bushland from N.E Qld to N.E NSW. It is common on the Atherton Tablelands of N. Qld. It is a flowering evergreen perennial shrub or twining vine which can reach a height of 6m.

Originally cultivated as an ornamental Brazilian Nightshade can be found growing in moist gullies, bushland and clearings near residential areas.

All parts of the plant are poisonous. The leaves and fruit may cause gastro-intestinal irritation, nausea and diarrhoea.

The plant is resistant to high temperatures, but cannot tolerate frost conditions.












Flowers

Brazilian Nightshade flowers from December to August with pendant clusters of star shaped inflorescence. The inflorescence is 2–3cm in diameter, green calyx, 5 petals coloured purple or blue with a tuft of yellow stamens in the centre.


Fruit

Flowering is followed by globular fruit of shiny green berries ripening to bright red to scarlet, 1cm in diameter containing numerous seeds.


Leaves

It is characterized by clusters of four to seven leaves alternating on the stem, 13cm long and 11cm wide, and deeply divided into three to nine irregularly shaped segments.
 

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