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Woody Nightshade, Climbing Nightshade, Bittersweet 'Variegatum'

Solanum dulcamara

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

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


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

Florence, Alabama

Stamford, Connecticut

Vail, Iowa

Dunellen, New Jersey

State College, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


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 puck... read more


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.