Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Potato Bush, Paraguay Nightshade, Blue Lycianthes
Lycianthes rantonnei 'Royal Robe'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycianthes (lish-ee-AN-theez) (Info)
Species: rantonnei
Cultivar: Royal Robe

Synonym:Lycianthes rantonnetii
Synonym:Solanum rantonnetii

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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9 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DaleTheGardener On Jan 26, 2012, DaleTheGardener from Tampa, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have grown Lycianthes rantonnetii for years. It is very easy, trouble free. Low water needs once established. Prefers clay soil, in sandy soil it doesn't bloom as well (unless you add lime).

Great container plant.

I have grown it in Zone 8b (Austin TX, Lake Travis area) were it freezes back to the ground in most winters. It returns in the spring and blooms early summer until frost.

It should be more widely planted.

It is very easy from cuttings.

Neutral isaandhos On May 14, 2008, isaandhos from Tyringham, MA wrote:

I have potted up two of these plants and plan to keep them outside for the summer.

Positive jakthelad On Mar 27, 2008, jakthelad from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I am in Las vegas and have a VERY harsh winter and a VERy hot summer. It died back in the winter to absolutely nothing and frankly, I was too lazy to pull it out thinking it was dead. This spring, it was the first to sprout and it'sa doing well already with flowers almost immediately. I love the colour of the blooms and am thrilled that it has come back.

Positive msteri On Mar 22, 2008, msteri from Buena Park, CA wrote:

Bought this plant yesterday afternoon at WalMart, Garden Grove, California - was a little concerned since most of their plants had extremely dry soil. I watered mine as soon as I got home. Last night I freaked out when all the flowers were gone!! This morning they're all open again and beautiful. Whew!!
Now that I've read all your comments, I hope I can control it's size.

Neutral MJ_ On Mar 18, 2008, MJ_ from Palm Springs, CA wrote:

This morning I found this plant at Lowes in Palm Spring, CA. I'm looking forward to trying it here. Very pretty coloring.

Neutral mephitis On Sep 23, 2007, mephitis from Lexington, KY wrote:

I read that all parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. I didn't know that when I bought it but my cats and it have lived happily together all summer.

Positive Socalguy On Dec 11, 2006, Socalguy wrote:

I live in San Diego,CA and have 5 of these plants. They adapt to the climate here in Southern California as if they are native here. They grow very fast and love the 360 days of sunshine here a year. When planted here they spread like a weed very quickly. They are a very enchanting plant. I love em.

Positive gardening4ever On Feb 5, 2006, gardening4ever from Summerville, SC wrote:

I planted 3 of these plants (quart size) last spring. They grew to a little more than 3 feet tall. All of them have already begun to put on new growth as of Feb. 5, 2006. I plan to move two of them to a more sunny area. This plant seems to bloom better with a little more sun than shade at least in Summerville, SC.

Positive frnimay On Aug 30, 2005, frnimay from Clovis, CA wrote:

i live in the california valley and the blue potatoe vine (shrub) dies back in the winter its best if you protect it from freezing.
it loves full sun. i had one at my old home and it is now like a small have to keep the suckers pruned or it becomes a can cut small flowering limbs and put in a vase.mine is now about 8 or 9 feet tall.also it was trained and staked because the main trunk is not thick enough to support it..i love its blooms , and i plan to put another one on the opposite side of my apt. yard.

Positive beclu727 On Mar 7, 2005, beclu727 from Dacula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

My DH bought me this plant for Mother's day last year. It was in a gallon pot. I transplanted to a 14" container and it grew to about 3 ft. It has overwintered in the garage and still has flowers!

Positive lilpeanut On Mar 6, 2005, lilpeanut from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

This beautiful bush bloomed all year in phoenix but better in the spring and summer. I trained it as a vine but it reached over 12 feet untill pruned, looking more like a tree. Very forgiving when not watered regularly. Nancy

Neutral cblankenship On May 6, 2004, cblankenship from King, NC wrote:

I found this plant at the Lowes Home Improvement in Winston-Salem, N.C. on university pkwy.

Neutral tcross On Mar 24, 2004, tcross wrote:

I found this plant today at Wal-Mart in Stillwater, OK.

Positive patwaters On Jan 21, 2004, patwaters wrote:

I grew this plant in my front yard a few summers ago. It bloomed vigorously all summer with small but noticable violet-blue flowers. The bush was about 5-6 foot high and about the same in width. We (Atlanta, Ga. ) area had a particularly cold winter that year and it was killed back to the groung level and did not reappear next year. I have been trying to fine it since. I have checked most of my local nurseries and mail order sources to no avail, however. I would appreciate anyone telling me where I might find this plant.


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

Cullman, Alabama
Kingman, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Sun City West, Arizona
Surprise, Arizona
Alameda, California
Amesti, California
Antelope, California
Berkeley, California
Clovis, California
Concord, California
Dana Point, California
Fallbrook, California
Garden Grove, California
Hanford, California
Irvine, California
Long Beach, California
Manhattan Beach, California (2 reports)
Ojai, California
Palm Springs, California
Pittsburg, California
Rocklin, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Leandro, California
Winchester, California
Yorba Linda, California
Fort Pierce, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Naples, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Lexington, Kentucky
Las Vegas, Nevada
Leonardo, New Jersey
Newport, North Carolina
Liberty, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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