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SOLVED: plant with little purple berries

Papillion, NE

I've found several of these little plants in my yard. They have little white flowers that turn to small green berries that turn dark purple when ripe. I burst open one of the ripe berries and found it has several little white seeds on the inside. The leaves are unlobed and seem to be a popular source of food for insects (holey).

Some of the plants seem to be growing somewhat upright, while others are more prostrate.


Thumbnail by justamom
Keaau, HI

Solanum americanum, Nightshade.

Papillion, NE

Thank you!


Most of the plant is toxic.

Since it is related to tomatoes, it is believed to attract tomato parasites in your garden.

I pull them off as soon as I see them.

Keaau, HI

What proof is there that Solanum americanum will mess up your tomato crop?

It is wise to be cautious about the toxicity of wild plants, but it is better to learn about the plants in your area and understand them, rather than carry a paranoia around with you to spread to others.

Most plants in the Nightshade Family, Solanaceae, have toxic parts, but we still eat them. This includes Tomatoes, Potatoes, Eggplants, Tomatillos, Chili Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Tree Tomatoes, Naranhia, etc.

Every plant that we eat, has parts that are not usable for food. Most folks eat Apples and other fruit of the Rosaceae, while avoiding the cyanide containing leaves of the plants. People chew down the leaves of lettuce, but are wise enough not to try and eat lettuce roots which are not easy to digest.

If one learns about the plants and nature that exists around them, they don't have to be afraid of the natural world that occurs there.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

What proof is there that Solanum americanum will mess up your tomato crop?

By acting as an attractant and/or asymptomatic host for various pests and diseases that are more damaging to Solanum lycopersicum than they are to Solanum americanum.



This message was edited Sep 19, 2008 8:21 AM

Keaau, HI

Thanks Resin. My tomatoes don't need any help catching diseases, they seem to rot on their own with no trouble at all!

Aloha, Dave

Elkader, IA

That is a black nightshade.

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