PLANT: Perennial herbs, rhizomatous, without tubers, to 1 m tall, sparsely to copiously armed with prickles, these to 5 mm long, thin, delicate; surfaces covered with stellate hairs throughout. LEAVES: alternate, simple, linear to oblonglanceolate, to 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, the margin entire, sinuate-repand or 6 CANOTIA Vol. 5 (1) 2009 shallowly lobed; blade coriaceous, the lower surface densely covered with stellate hairs; petiole to 5 cm long; base attenuate, oblique, or rounded; apex acute. INFLORESCENCE: panicles, 5-8-flowered; peduncles to 15 mm long. FLOWERS: zygomorphic (Fig. 3C); pedicels to 2 cm long; calyx to 1 cm long, the lobes 1/2 as long to as long as the tube, unequal, linear; corolla rotate, purple or sometimes white, to 3.5 cm in diam., having stellate hairs along the midveins of the outer surfaces of the corolla lobes; stamens equal, to 13 mm long, the anthers 4 times as long as the filaments, not adherant; style exceeding the anthers by 2-10 mm; stigma clavate, to 1 mm wide. FRUITS: to 1.5 cm in diam., not invested in the calyx, green with pale green to greenish grey markings when immature, yellow when mature, pendant; seeds lenticular, pale to dark brown, shiny and minutely pitted. NOTES: Disturbed areas: all cos. (Fig. 1E); below 1200 m (4000 ft); Mar-Oct; s and w U.S.; Mex. REFERENCES: Chiang, F. and L.R. Landrum. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Solanaceae Part Three: Lycium. CANOTIA 5 (1): 17-26, 2009.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Correll and Johnston 1970, VPAP (Bates et al. 2009)
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, to 1 m tall, from tough, creeping rhizomes; stems sometimes woody at the base, erect to ascending, sparingly branched; herbage silvery-canescent with finely stellate hairs; stems, petioles, and leaf midribs prickly with slender yellowish spines, 1-5 mm long. Leaves: Alternate along the stems, on petioles to 5 cm long; blades oblong to lanceolate, 3-10 cm long and 4-25 mm wide, with prominent veins. Flowers: Showy and purple, in few-flowered clusters at branch tips, on prickly pedicels to 2 cm long; calyx 5-lobed, 1 cm long, the lobes linear and almost as long as the tube portion of the calyx; corolla rotate (flat and roundish) and shallowly 5-lobed, 2-3 cm diameter, violet or blue; stamens bright yellow. Fruits: Berries globose, 9-14 mm in diameter, yellow to brownish; containing brown, lens-shaped seeds. Ecology: Found on sandy plains, arroyos, outwash slopes and disturbed areas, below 6,500 ft (1981 m); flowers March-October. Distribution: WA and ID south to CA east to NC; south to S. Amer.; also in Afrca, Europe, Asia and Australia. Notes: Silver-leaf nightshade is a common and widespread species which florishes in disturbed habitats, especially where grazing pressure is high, as it is toxic to livestock. Look for the dark purple flowers with bright yellow stamens; the flower structure should look familiar, as it is the same as the flowers on the tomato plants in your garden (these are also in the genus Solanum). The leaves are silvery and oblong, and there are fine yellowish spines all along the stems and on the underside of many leaves, mostly along the midveins. Occasionally a white-flowered form is seen; this is known as forma albiflorum Ethnobotany: Considered to be highly toxic. In the American Southwest a preparation of S. elaeagnifolium was used in treating ear, nose, and throat ailments, as well as eye infections and toothaches. Etymology: Solanum is from the Latin solor, to comfort or relieve, and -anum, pertaining to, a reference to the narcotic properties of some species; elaeagnifolium means leaves like Elaeagnus, the genus of Russian olive. Synonyms: Solanum flavidum Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2017
Coarse, branching, rhizomatous perennial to 1 m, spineless or sparsely spiny, silvery-canescent with stellate hairs throughout; lvs linear to oblong or lance-oblong, 5-15 cm, a sixth to a third as wide, entire or merely sinuate; fls violet, 2 cm wide; 2n=24, 72. Dry soil; Mo. and Kans. to Tex. and Ariz., and occasionally adventive eastward.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.