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Short Notes on Nature Singapore

28 April 2019 | Black Nightshade | Solanum americanum |

photo While I thought that I had figured out the right species name for this Solanum found in Singapore some time back based on a 2007 article [1], a more recent article published in 2018 [2] seemed to dispute the previous conclusion. According to the latest article (page 61), the concepts of the taxon used in the 2007 study were different. It further elaborated that the Solanum nodiflorum studied in that publication was considered to be Solanum americanum based on the treatment of the taxon in the current publication while the Solanum americanum examined in the older publication was another species. With this new found information, I had changed the species name back to Solanum americanum.

photo photo Over at my potted area, I had a fully grown Black Nightshade that had started to produce flowers. I had shared a picture of the seedling in a post about a month ago. Its growth rate was relatively fast. Within a period of 4 weeks, it had turned into a mature plant with multiple bundles of flower buds. Each bundle holds 5 to 7 flower buds. It currently stands at a height of more than 80 centimetres (cm) with the longest leaf having a length of about 20 cm when measuring from the leaf stalk to the leaf tip.

photo photo photo The stem looked quite different at different height. The part near the soil was purplish black; mid-section was dark green; upper section was lighter green with some mini-ridges. There were short, fine white hairs on the most parts of the stem. The hairs are more conspicuous on the flower buds.

This Black Nightshade was linked to a plant found in the wild back in October 2012. Since I recycled most of my soil in the pots, chances were that some seeds from the earlier generation of the descendants might be left buried in the soil. Occasionally, one or 2 seedlings might sprout from my pot. With my renew interest of the herb recently, I decided to transfer this lone seedling that was left growing near the edge of a pot, packed with the low-lying Creeping Lickstoop (Dentella repens), to a freshly prepared pot. It did not disappoint me.


[1] Manoko MLK, van den Berg RG, Feron RMC, van der Weerden GM, Mariani C. AFLP markers support separation of Solanum nodiflorum from Solanum americanum sensu stricto (Solanaceae). Plant Systematics & Evolution 2007;267:1-11. | Read article |

[2] Sarkinen T, Poczai P, Barboza GE, van der Weerden GM, Baden M, Knapp S. A revision of the Old World Black Nightshades (Morelloid clade of Solanum L., Solanaceae). PhytoKeys 2018;106:1-223. | Read article |

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