Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Potato Vine, Purple Devil
Solanum atropurpureum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solanum (so-LAN-num) (Info)
Species: atropurpureum (at-ro-pur-PURR-ee-um) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

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

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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By GardenGuyKin
Thumbnail #1 of Solanum atropurpureum by GardenGuyKin

By KevinReiner
Thumbnail #2 of Solanum atropurpureum by KevinReiner

By Spookycharles
Thumbnail #3 of Solanum atropurpureum by Spookycharles


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Spookycharles On Nov 18, 2009, Spookycharles from Langley, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has a lot of personality and is a lot of fun to grow. Large purple spines (on stems and leaf ribs) and dark green leaves beautifully offset the bright orange fruit. While this species will set fruit in cool summer areas, depending on the summer, plants may need to be moved indoors to ripen fruit if you wish to collect seeds. The fruits are strictly ornamental and should not be eaten and the juices inside are irritating to the touch so wear gloves when harvesting seeds.

These plants grow quickly and can be grown as an annual in cold winter areas - they'll easily reach 4 ft in one season. This species grows well in containers and plants can also be brought indoors or into a greenhouse to overwinter, just keep it away from pets and children because the spines are very sharp.

Ours is grown in our greenhouse year round where it reached 12 ft by the end of the summer and would have grown taller if it hadn't hit the roof of the greenhouse. Plants also take well to pruning if you need to keep them smaller - just remove the tall, older stems when a new flush of growth is sending up young stems.


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

Long Beach, California
Salem, Oregon
Austin, Texas
Langley, Washington
Dane, Wisconsin

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