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Weeds and Plant Identification
Eastern black nightshade - Solanum ptycanthum

Fruit

Leaf

Leaf underside

Seedling

Young plant
 
 

 
Eastern black nightshade Solanum ptycanthum Dun.
Solanaceae (Nightshade family)
 
Life cycle
Erect, branching summer annual.
 
Leaves
Seedlings have small, egg-shaped cotyledons with a pointed tip and a purplish tinge underneath followed by alternate, petiolated, simple leaves. First leaves are generally smooth, egg-shaped with wavy margins and a purplish tinge underneath; later leaves are slightly hairy, egg- to diamond-shaped with entire to irregularly toothed margins.
 
Stems
Erect and branching, up to 3-foot-tall stems with few hairs.
 
Flowers and fruit
Flowers are white to purple tinged, star-shaped with five petals fused at the base surrounding five bright yellow anthers; found in downward facing clusters. Berries are glossy black at maturity and globe-shaped, and contain up to 110 seeds.
 
Reproduction
Seeds.
 
Toxicity
All plant parts are toxic to animals.
 
Similar weeds
Bittersweet nightshade (S. dulcamara L.)
Differs by having a vining, perennial habit; leaves that are oval to egg-shaped with pointed tips, smooth margins and usually two basal lobes; and purple to blue flowers that yield bright red, oval berries at maturity.

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