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Solanum umbelliferum (Bluewitch nightshade)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Solanum umbelliferum

Solanum umbelliferum Eschsch.

Bluewitch Nightshade, Bluewitch, Barba De Chivo

Solanaceae (Potato Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A rounded to spreading sub-shrub, bluewitch grows 2-3 ft. high and is as wide or wider than its height. Greenish, woody branches bear simple, oval leaves and, in season, a profusion of small umbels of blue to blue-purple flowers. The five petals are fused together into a saucer shape with a pattern of green nectar glands on a white background at the base. This is complemented by a cone of yellow stamens.

Though the main bloom period is spring and summer, some flowers will occur most of the year.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: Oregon and CA Coast Range foothills & interior valleys, south through Mexico to Central America as far south as Panama
Native Habitat: Dry, brush-covered slopes & valleys

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Though the main bloom period is spring and summer, some flowers will occur most of the year.


Description: Use treated seeds or rooted layers or propagate this species.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Seeds need a one hour acid or hot water treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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