En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - November 01, 2010

From: Thorndale, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of two Solanum species in Thorndale, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi. NE of Austin in the Taylor/Rockdale area with sandy loam I have two kinds of nightshade. One has the deep rhizomes and stickers and is relatively small and weedy. The other, very similar in appearance with the lobed leaves, purple flowers and tomato like fruit, has very shallow roots and is easy to pull up. This plant grows much taller with broader, more attractive leaves. What is it? I can send a photo if need be.

ANSWER:

The prickly nightshade with the deep roots sounds like Solanum carolinense (Carolina horse-nettle) and the other one with broader, more deeply lobed, leaves sounds like Solanum dimidiatum (Western horsenettle)

Identifying plants from physical descriptions is very difficult at best.  If our best guess is incorrect, you may send images of your nightshades to id@smartyplants.org and we'll take another shot at it.


Solanum carolinense


Solanum carolinense


Solanum dimidiatum


Solanum dimidiatum

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Is Tagetes lemmonii (Copper Canyon Daisy) native to the Southwest?
September 01, 2014 - Due to the continued drought I have resolved to only use native plants in my garden. Copper canyon daisy is be recommended more often at nurseries. The NPSOT lists it a native of Arizona, yet I cann...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of shrub with thorns and purple flowers
July 05, 2011 - I have a small tree or shrub, it has very small or thin thorns on the branches. It blooms in April / May. The flowers are purple. My mother-in-law said that it has been around for over 100 years, b...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny vine in Michigan
May 21, 2013 - We have a species growing around our rural SW Michigan property that I'm trying to identify: I either see stalks up to 3 ft tall, or much longer vines if they find anchor. The most notable characte...
view the full question and answer

Nomenclatural puzzles
March 25, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I have been looking all day for this information. I am look for a plant that is in the genus Cucumis but not in the family Cucurbitacea. A plant that is in the family Cucurbit...
view the full question and answer

Information about Rose Twisted-Stalk
July 03, 2012 - Dear Mr.(?) Smarty Plants- I LOVE your name! I cannot find the plant I'm looking to identify in your collection. I saw it in a wildflower book as: Rose Twisted-Stalk. Sprin...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center