Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Unarmed, scrambling or sprawling perennial. Stems are usually hairless, with prominent raised lenticels; to 4 m long. Becoming woody towards the base. The leaves are ovate or broadly ovate, sometimes with up to 4 basal lobes or leaflets, which can be densely hairy, and a sharp leaf tip. Flowers are present as a flat or convex-topped inflorescence, or as loose panicles with 10-25 flowers present. The calyx is 2-3 mm long, divided nearly to the base with very shallow, hairy broadly triangular lobes. Flowers are purple, though sometimes white, and are narrow-triangular in shape, becoming recurved. Flowering occurs Nov-Mar. Characterised by bright scarlet shining almost ovoid berries, which contain seeds 2-3 mm diam.
November, December, January, February, March
Eurasia, N Afr
solanum: Derivation uncertain - possibly from the Latin word sol, meaning “sun,” referring to its status as a plant of the sun. Another possibility is that the root was solare, meaning “to soothe,” or solamen, meaning “a comfort,” which would refer to the soothing effects of the plant upon ingestion.
Reason For Introduction
The scarlet coloured berries of this plant are poisonous when eaten.