Horsenettle or Silverleaf Nightshade; Solanum elaeagnifolium



Ran across this striking perennial earlier this week after loading some dry cows to go to town. Apparently common, I have never seen Silverleaf Nightshade, so I went back this morning to photograph it. Related to the tomato, potato and many other garden vegetables, it is poisonous with narcotic properties. And like many nightshades, natives prepared concoctions with the fruit to address headaches, sore throats, etc. Also the root was chewed before sucking rattlesnake venom from a bite. I continue to wonder how the natives knew when to pick the berries and how much of their preparations to ingest. All in the realm of the medicine keepers, I suspect it was not just trial and error.



7 responses to “Horsenettle or Silverleaf Nightshade; Solanum elaeagnifolium

  1. David A Wilkinson

    It’s all over our country, John. As kids we called it “the sticker plant” and noticed how the fruits, when ripe (yellow), look just like tomatoes; no wonder the Spanish at first refused to eat them!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Andy, for your perspective. We have plenty Purple Nightshade that produces red, then black, pea-sized fruit, some stage of which is quite poisonous I’m told.


  2. Evelynne Matsumoto

    My dad came from Japan (early 1900s) near the Sakawa River; he told us there was a certain place on the river where people went to gather mud, to use as a poultice on burns. A feather was used to spread the mud, The burned area healed without scarring–now I read about new antibacterial things being found in mud and soil—

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Travel down path 65 to Kern County, you can find plenty of SLN in almonds and pistachios.

    Liked by 1 person

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