Horsenettle

Solanum carolinense L.

Life cycle

Spreading to erect, patch-forming perennial.

horsenettle plant
Horsenettle plant.

Leaves

Alternate, egg-shaped, shallowly to deeply lobed, 2 to 5 inches long with sharp, prominent prickles on the leaf veins, midveins and petioles. Starshaped hairs are present on both leaf surfaces.

horsenettle leaf horsenettle spines
Horsenettle leaf (left). Sharp, prominent prickles of horsenettle (right).

Stems

Spreading to erect, herbaceous stems with multiple branching, up to 3 feet in height. Stems have sharp, prominent prickles and star-shaped hairs.

Flowers and fruit

Flowers are white to pale purple, star-shaped with five petals fused at the base and found in clusters on prickly flowering stalks. Flower centers consist of bright yellow, cone-shaped anthers. Berries are yellow at maturity, globe-shaped, wrinkled and approximately 0.5 inch across, and contain up to 170 seeds.

horsenettle fruit
Horsenettle mature berries.

Reproduction

Seeds and deeply penetrating vertical to horizontal creeping roots.

Toxicity

All plant parts are toxic to animals.

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