Invasive Species: Solanum tampicense, Wetland Nightshade
Wetland nightshade is a sprawling, semi-woody shrub that invades wetlands in Florida. The green stems are up to 15 ft. (4.6 m) long and prickly. Leaves are alternate, to 10 in. (25 cm) long, 3 in. (7 cm) wide, wavy along the margins with prickles on the veins. The small white flowers occur in small clusters at the leaf axils from summer to fall. The fruits are small tomato-like berries that turn bright red when ripe. Wetland nightshade, being tolerant of full sun and full shade, can invade many types of wetland ecosystems such as cypress swamps and river edges. It is capable of forming extensive, dense stands that displace native vegetation. Wetland nightshade is native to the West Indies and Central America. It was recently accidentally introduced into Florida.
What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them?
Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species
Solanales > Solanaceae > Solanum tampicense Dunal.
Synonym(s): aquatic soda apple
Solanum tampicense – USDA PLANTS Profile
Wetland nightshade – The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)
Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important
Reporting This Invasive Species
What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species?
How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS – Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System
EDDMapS – Report an invasive species to EDDMapS
Cooperative Extension Offices – Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA
How to Identify
This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.
A sprawling, semi-woody shrub that invades wetlands in Florida. The green stems are up to 15 ft. (4.6 m) long and prickly.
|Alison Fox, University of Florida, bugwood.org||Alison Fox, University of Florida, bugwood.org|
Leaves are alternate, to 10 in. (25 cm) long, 3 in. (7 cm) wide, wavy along the margins with prickles on the veins.
|Alison Fox, University of Florida, bugwood.org||Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, bugwood.org|
The small white flowers occur in small clusters at the leaf axils from summer to fall.
|Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, bugwood.org||Florida Division of Plant Industry Archive, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, bugwood.org|
The fruits are small tomato-like berries that turn bright red when ripe.
|Florida Division of Plant Industry Archive, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, bugwood.org||Julia Scher, USDA APHIS PPQ, bugwood.org|
Native Species That Resemble Wetland Nightshade
Solanum triflorum, cutleaf nightshade – Images at invasive.org
This species is native to the United States but can be considered nonnative to areas of Canada.
|Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, bugwood.org||Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, bugwood.org|
– Images at invasive.org
Additional Images for Wetland Nightshade
wetland nightshade – Images at Invasive.org
Learning Resources for Wetland Nightshade
Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources
Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state’s land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.
United States Land-Grant University System – Find your land-grant university’s College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.
Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the Eastern United States – USDA Forest Service
Federal Noxious Weed Disseminules of the United States – USDA-APHIS
Global Invasive Species Database – Invasive Species Specialist Group
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants – University of Florida, IFAS