trumpet-shaped, 5-lobed




pronounced: so-lah-NAY-see-eye

the nightshade family


Solanum is the ancient Roman name for the nightshade. These are herbs , shrubs, or small trees, and rarely woody vines. The leaves are alternate, or sometimes sub-opposite, simple to pinnate. Some have solitary flowers, and some have inflorescences that may be of almost any type, the flowers nearly always being bisexual. The calyx is tubular to campanulate, most often 5-lobed. The corolla is campanulate, tubular, infundibuliform, urn-shaped or trumpet-shaped, often with 5 lobes. There are usually 4 or 5 stamens inserted in the corolla tube. The ovary is superior; the style is simple and bears a two-lobed stigma. Pollination is usually by insects. The fruit is a capsule or a berry, usually bilocular, usually with numerous seeds which are often flattened. The family contains many important food plants, such as the potato, the tomato, the capsicum, the chilli and the eggplant, as well as tobacco, deadly nightshade, and a number or garden ornamentals.


Photograph © Donald Simpson, taken at Picnic Bay 2011