This vine is growing up in a bush in front of Pangie's home. The leaves are 2.5" long, not including the petioles and the flowers are 1/2" long including the yellow centers. What is this? Is it a weed? Is it annual? Is it invasive? I am smitten...
Solanum dulcamara - I think. We have it too, my cuttings have started to grow too, I took them last year =) Nice plants but berries are extremely poisonous and smell very bad. It is the only hardwood native vine here.. :]
I believe it would be considered invasive. Spreads by underground runners and the birds help it reseed. I grow it anyhow. The flowers and red berries are worth it. According to my wildflower book, the American Bittersweet Nightshade is not as highly toxic as the European variety. Guess that's why the European form is called 'Deadly Nightshade'.
Hmmmmmmm. It is really pretty, and it seemed very shallow-rooted when I yanked several of them up before leaving my friend's home, LOL. The only concern I have is their toxicity; then again, I grow foxgloves and they're poisonous, too. They're just lovely flowers!
The main problem with the Nightshades and toxicity is because the berries are shiny and juicy looking. Sometimes people, especially children, mistake them for edible berries. You wouldn't normally eat a foxglove because there is nothing your stomach might be attracted to on it but you might be tempted to pick a berry, just to see what it tastes like.
If you know something is poisonous then you treat it with extra respect and pass the knowledge on. There are many poisonous or problematic plants in a garden, even some commonly used herbs like Sage can bring on symptoms very like being poisoned if too much is ingested.
I personally wouldn't grow it but that's my choice (it grows wild here too). I think it looks weedy and seeds too much but there is no reason why you shouldn't grow it if you want to.
Man, it's just like when you buy a car and suddenly everywhere you look other people are driving the same model as you. Now I see this little vine everywhere in little clumps in alleys, roadsides, etc. But I still really like it. :) I have five of them in pots now until I figure out where I want to put them.
They are definitely perennial. Their roots roam far and wide seeking nutrients. When they find a patch of good soil, they grow voracious feeder root mats that within a year have displaced everything else. My neighbor allows hers to grow along the fence, and I spend many hours year-round yanking the matted roots out of my beds. They are worse than silver maple feeder root mats, if you can believe that! I have found some 40' from the nearest vine.
Oh, wow...Maybe I should re-think this. I guess I could put them in a big container in the ground to stop their roots from spreading. That wouldn't stop the birds from spreading the berries, but maybe I could keep a handle on the seedlings when I see them popping up around. Hmmmmm...Darn, they're so pretty!
GW, since you like this vine so much, maybe I should send you about a box car load of the lower growing form. I agree they are pretty, especially from a distance in late summer when nothing else is blooming, but I spend way too much time pulling them out of my beds.