Scientific Name:
Solanum L., Sp. Pl. 184 (1753)
  • = Lycopersicon Mill. (1754)
  • = Cyphomandra Mart. ex Sendtn. (1845)
Vernacular Name(s):
Nightshade; Tūpurupuru

Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or small trees, sometimes trailing or climbing, sometimes armed with straight or curved prickles, often foetid when bruised, generally hairy, the hairs simple, stellate, glandular, or sometimes much-branched with a central axis. Lvs simple or compound, nearly always alternate, ± petiolate. Infls terminal or apparently axillary, cymose or umbellate, 2-many-flowered (fls rarely solitary), often extra-axillary, sometimes lf-opposed. Calyx (4)–5–(10)-toothed, generally campanulate, persistent and often accrescent. Corolla 5-lobed, rotate or shallowly campanulate, plicate in bud, usually white to blue or purple, sometimes cream or yellow; limb often patent and star-shaped, the lobes eventually reflexing. Stamens 5, inserted on throat of corolla tube, usually exserted; anthers coherent and forming a conspicuous yellow cone around the style, dehiscing by apical pores or slits or longitudinal slits. Ovary 2-celled (to 6 in cultivated plants); stigma capitate or 2-fid. Fr. a berry, generally globose, succulent or rather leathery; stone cells (sclerotic granules) sometimes present. Seeds many, compressed, of moderate size, often reticulately pitted.

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

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
Number of species and named hybrids in New Zealand within Solanum L.
Indigenous (Non-endemic)4
Exotic: Fully Naturalised19
Exotic: Casual9
Bohs, L. 1995: Transfer of Cyphomandra (Solanaceae) and its species to Solanum. Taxon 44: 583–587.
Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Mabberley, D.J. 2008: Mabberley's plant book, a portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses. Edition 3. Cambridge University Press.