Weed Seed: Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silverleaf nightshade)
Canadian: Absent from Canada (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).
Worldwide: Native to northeastern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Introduced elsewhere in North and South America and currently widespread in the U.S in all but the Great Lakes and New England regions (CFIA 2012Footnote 2). Also introduced to Australia, India, South Africa, and around the Mediterranean basin (CFIA 2014Footnote 3).
Duration of life cycle
Seed or fruit type
- Seed length: 3.0 - 4.0 mm
- Seed width: 2.3 - 3.5 mm
- Seed thickness: 1.0 mm
- Round to oval-shaped seed, strongly compressed, notched at the hilum
- Smooth with faint wavy lines, most evident along the edges of the seed
- Seed medium brown
- Hilum is a wide oval opening on narrow edge
Habitat and crop association
Cultivated fields, rangelands, grasslands, forests, coastal areas, marshes, riverbanks, roadsides and other disturbed areas, particularly in areas of low annual rainfall (CABI 2016Footnote 4). Affects a variety of crops, the main ones being alfalfa, citrus, corn, cotton, sorghum and wheat (CABI 2016Footnote 4).
Silverleaf nightshade reproduces by both seed and root fragments. Plants produce up to 250 million seeds per hectare and the seeds can remain viable for up to 10 years (Boyd and Murray 1982Footnote 5). All parts of the plant, especially the fruit, are poisonous to livestock (CABI 2016Footnote 4).
Horse-nettle (Solanum carolinense)
- Similar shape and smooth surface as silverleaf nightshade.
- Horse nettle seeds are generally shorter and narrower with a size of 2.5 - 3.5 mm length and 1.5 - 2.0 mm width; an orange colour, and a faint reticulate pattern over the entire surface compared to silverleaf nightshade.
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