Solanum carolinense L. - Horse Nettle
Family - Solanaceae
Stems - To 1m tall but typically shorter, armed with spines, pubescent with spreading and stellate hairs, greenish to purple, from thick rhizome, herbaceous, erect.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petiole to +/-2cm long, spiny. Blade to +20cm long, +7cm broad, typically lance-ovate in outline, often lobed, with spines on midrib and veins, stellate pubescent.
Inflorescence - Axillary racemes (sometimes branching) compact in flower but quickly elongating in fruit to +/-20cm long. Pedicels +/-1cm long, stellate pubescent.
Flowers - Corolla white to lilac or purple at anthesis, drying darker, 5-lobed, to 3cm broad, stellate pubescent externally, glabrous internally. Stamens 5, alternating with corolla lobes, adnate at base of corolla tube, erect. Filaments yellowish-green, 2mm long, glabrous. Anthers yellow, 7-8mm long, 2mm broad, loosely connivent around style or not. Style greenish, glabrous, -1.5cm long. Stigma dark green. Ovary superior, glandular pubescent, whitish, 2mm in diameter, 2-locular. Placentation axile. Ovules many. Calyx deeply 5-lobed. Calyx tube to 3mm long, purplish-green, stellate pubescent. Lobes lance-acuminate, 7-8mm long, 2-3mm broad at base, stellate pubescent, entire, scarious in basal half. Fruits yellowish, globose, +/- 1.5cm in diameter.
Flowering - May - October.
Habitat - Waste ground, disturbed sites, pastures, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - The flowers
of this species are fairly showy. They can range in color from white to
purple. The plant is toxic and the spines can be painful if the plant is
Photographs taken off Hwy 106, Shannon County, MO., 5-26-03, and in Springfield, MO., 7-5-03.