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Thursday - January 28, 2016

From: Weed, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We live at 3,000 feet


Searching the USDA Plants Database for vines that occur in Siskiyou County, California, I found Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet nightshade or climbing nightshade) to be the one that best fit your description.  Most of the descriptions state that the leaves are green or tinged with purple.  None of the descriptions I found, however, reported thorns on the vine but many do report that the vines often have fine hairs, especially when young.  It is an introduced plant native to Eurasia and Northern Africa.  It is considered invasive in many areas and it has toxic characteristics.

Here are more descriptions from King County, Washington, the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) and Illinois Wildflowers.




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