Scientific Name:
Solanum nigrum L., Sp. Pl. 186 (1753)
  • Solanum vulgatum var. chlorocarpum Spenn. (1829)
  • Solanum chlorocarpum (Spenn.) Schur (1866)
  • = Solanum nigrum f. chlorocarpum (Spenn.) Lindm.
Vernacular Name(s):
Black nightshade; Blackberry nightshade; Garden huckleberry; Pōporo; Poroporo; Raupeti; Remuroa

Unarmed, annual or short-lived perennial herb to c. 75 cm tall, usually hairy, sometimes nearly glabrous; stems branched, usually green, sometimes dark purple. Petioles to 7 cm long. Lamina c. 2–12 × 1–7 cm, ovate or lanceolate-ovate, entire, sinuate to coarsely dentate, sometimes lobulate, sometimes purple-tinged; hairs usually scattered, short, simple, occasionally glandular; base cuneate to narrowly attenuate; apex acute or obtuse. Cymes pseudoumbellate, usually few-flowered and with at least 1 pedicel arising below peduncle apex; peduncles generally 1–2.5 cm long; pedicels becoming deflexed at fruiting. Calyx 1–3 mm long; lobes ovate, broad-ovate, to almost elliptic, accrescent and appressed to fr. Corolla 10–13 mm diam., usually white, sometimes pale mauve; lobes almost triangular, ± puberulent outside. Anthers 2–2.7 mm long. Berry 7–10 mm diam., globose, usually black and rather dull, sometimes green, yellowish green or pale yellow; stone cells usually 0. Seeds 1.7–2.4 mm diam., broad-obovoid, ellipsoid-obovoid to suborbicular.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Oct.–May–(Sep.)

Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Connor, H.E.; Fountain, J. 2009: Plants that Poison: A New Zealand Guide. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Edmonds, J.M.; Chweya, J.A. 1997: Black nightshades, Solanum nigrum L. and related species. Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), Rome, Italy.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Stewart, J. 1971: Plants in New Zealand Poisonous to Man. New Zealand Department of Health, Wellington.