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Solanum americanum Mill. Glossy Nightshade
Gard.Dict. edn 8 (1768)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Not Current

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Tuesday 21 September 1999

Erect or spreading, short-lived perennial, herb or shrub, 0.45-2 m high. Fl. white, Mar to Apr or Jun to Dec. Sandy soils. Along rivers & around lakes.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 18 July 2016

Alternative Names. American Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Small-flowered Nightshade.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Birds, mammals, water, soil, machinery. Toxicity. Immature fruit is poisonous.

Notes. Widely naturalised in the tropics. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female parts) and are insect-pollinated. Shade reduces seed production. Requires moist soil. Has proteins that act as defense against insects. Species in the Solanum nigrum complex (including S. americanum) differ in susceptibility to herbicides, especially to chlorsulfuron and surfactants, and biotypes are resistant to paraquat. Declared weed in the United States.

Additional information. Origin. North and South America. History of use/introduction. Food, medicines. Similar exotic species. Solanum nigrum.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand weed small infestations. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar TypeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecComments
Germination    UUU      
Active Growth     YYYYYY  
Flowering  YYYYYYYYYY 
FruitingY   OOOOYYYY 

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Berwick, T.A., Stall, W.M., Kostewicz, R. & Smith, K. (1991) Alternatives for control of paraquat tolerant American Black Nightshade (Solanum americanum). Weed Technology, 5 (1): 61-65.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Chase, C.A., Bewick, T.A. & Shilling, D.G. (1998) Characterization of Paraquat resistance in Solanum americanum mill. I. Paraquat uptake, translocation, and compartmentalization. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 60 (1): 13-22.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Plants for a future (Undated) Plant Database. Plants For A Future, England and Wales. URL: - Accessed April 2010.
  • Quakenbush, L.S. & Andersen, R.N. (1985) Susceptibility of five species of the Solanum nigrum complex to herbicides. Weed Science, 33 (3).
  • Swarbrick, J.T. & Skarratt, D.B. (1994) The bushweed 2 database of environmental weeds in Australia. The University of Queensland, Gatton College.
  • Tamboia, T., Cipollini, M.L. & Levey, D.J. (1996) An evaluation of vertebrate seed dispersal syndrome in four species of black nightshade (Solanum sect. Solanum). Oecologia, 107: 522-532.
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (2009) Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: - Accessed October 2009.
  • Xu, Z-F., Qi, W-Q., Ouyang, X-Z., Yeung, E. & Chye, M-L. (2001) A proteinase inhibitor II of Solanum americanum is expressed in phloem. Plant Molecular Biology, 47 (6): 727-738.

Project information and acknowledgements