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PlantFiles: Woody Nightshade, Climbing Nightshade, Bittersweet
Solanum dulcamara 'Variegatum'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solanum (so-LAN-num) (Info)
Species: dulcamara (dool-kah-MAH-rah) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegatum

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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to view:

By JerusalemCherry
Thumbnail #1 of Solanum dulcamara by JerusalemCherry

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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JerusalemCherry On Nov 1, 2005, JerusalemCherry from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Gardeners in North America either love bittersweet vines or hate them. Bittersweet plants can kill trees and are difficult to eradicate from your landscape. But during the fall season bittersweet vines put on a display few other plants can rival. To grow bittersweet vines or not to grow bittersweet vines: truly a bittersweet decision for landscapers.

This plant has many names, here are a few...Bittersweet, Bittersweet Herb, Bittersweet Stems, Bittersweet Twigs, Blue Nightshade, Felonwort, Fever Twig, Garden Nightshade, Nightshade, Nightshade Vine, Scarlet Berry, Staff Vine, Violet Bloom, Woody, Woody Nightshade, and Climbing Nightshade.

The Variegated form of this plant is very pretty. This plant is an unusually vigorous easy striking vine packed with puckered leaves widely margined with bright white; blue-violet potato like fl clusters become variegated berries ripening to red, then darker. Handsome deciduous vine scarce in commerce. This plant is hardy to Zone 4, & it can also be grown as a houseplant. As a general rule, the variegated forms of most plants are far less vigorous than their green counterpart. This can easily be accounted for by the lack of chlorophyll in the variegated sections of the leaf. Many variegates lack enough chlorophyll to live once they are severed from the mother plant. Research has found that many variegated plants also tend to suffer more insect damage on the variegated parts of the foliage than in the green areas, obviously due to the weaker tissue. This is certainly not true on all variegated plants, but varies tremendously from plant to plant.

A plant introduced into the U.S. from Europe, called "bittersweet nightshade" (Solanum dulcamara). The berries of this plant undergo an interesting color transformation during their growing season. Beginning as a green berry, they change first to yellow, then to orange, and finally to red. Making the plant even more colorful is the fact that not all the berries reach these color stages at the same time. Consequently, it is not uncommon to see a bittersweet nightshade plant bearing berries of three different colors. The berry of this true bittersweet is poisonous. Not that I'd recommend that the novice ingest false bittersweet berries.

Positive lyonluv On Apr 8, 2004, lyonluv from Florence, AL wrote:

An excellent vine. Bittersweet grows rapidly and easily. After flowering, it forms berries that change from green to yellow to orange to a ripe red but not all at the same time so it is possible to have all four colours at the same time. All parts of the plant are poisonous and the ripe berries can be tempting to children, though they taste awful, so plant with caution.
In magickal traditions, the leaves are to be placed under the pillow to forget a lost love.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Florence, Alabama
Stamford, Connecticut
Vail, Iowa
Dunellen, New Jersey
State College, Pennsylvania

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