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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Solanum dimidiatum (Western horsenettle)
Smith, Sandy

Solanum dimidiatum

Solanum dimidiatum Raf.

Western Horsenettle, Western Horse-nettle

Solanaceae (Potato Family)

Synonym(s): Solanum perplexum, Solanum torreyi


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The leaves, petioles and branched stems of western horse nettle have sharp spines. Oval, five- to seven-lobed leaves are up to 6 inches long. Flowers are purple to violet (sometimes white) and grow at the tip in terminal clusters. Flowers give rise to ball-shaped fruits that are 0.75 to 1.5 inches in diameter and yellow at maturity.

Fruits, even though they look like tomatoes, are deadly poisonous and are probably responsible for “Crazy Cow Syndrome”.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Notes: 2 feet tall, but some grow to 3 feet tall.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , CA , FL , GA , IL , KS , LA , MO , NM , OK , SC , TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0919 Collected Jul 31, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1230 Collected 2008-10-21 in Anderson County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Additional resources

USDA: Find Solanum dimidiatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Solanum dimidiatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Solanum dimidiatum


Record Modified: 2010-04-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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