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Horse nettle (Solanum carolinense)

Horse nettle Description: Fruits and foliage contain alkaloid and increases throughout the growing season. This species is listed under Regulation No. 715 - Seed Law Implementation as a prohibited noxious weed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

Habit: Perennial, creeping plant reaching a height of 1-3 feet and covered with prickles.

Leaves: Oblong to egg-shaped, 2-6 in. long, up to 3 in. wide, both surfaces coved in star-shaped hairs, short stalk. Edges are often wavy, toothless but shallowly lobed, typically angular and resembling large teeth.

Stems: Variously covered in sharp, yellowish prickles, green in color and covered in star-shaped hairs.

Flowers: 5 pale lavender petals that unite at the base, deeply 5 lobed and star-shaped, less than 1 in. in diameter.

Fruit and seeds: Yellow berries, 1/2 in. in diameter, smooth when young becoming wrinkled. Borne in clusters and holds 40-170 yellow, disk-shaped seeds.

Habitat: Native to southeastern United States. Can be found in old fields, pastures, orchards, roadsides, and waste places.

Reproduction: By seed and vegetatively.

Similar species: Buffalobur (Solanum rostratum).

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from The Ohio State University: Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Horse nettle

Scientific Name:

Solanum carolinense







USDA Symbol: