Solanum americanum
[Black Nightshade]

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Close-up views:

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Seedling:

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For quite a long time, I had thought that this herb was Solanum nigrum (another Black Nightshade). After I started to grow it and did more detailed search on information related to this herb, its identity turned out to be the American Black Nightshade (Solanum americanum). Later, I came across a genetic study by Manoko [1] that made me deduced that the species seen in Singapore is Solanum nodiflorum instead. Some botanists treat Solanum americanum and Solanum nodiflorum as the same species. According to the publication, besides the genetic evidence, the flower of Solanum americanum has an exserted style (pillar-like stalk that connect to the ovary) while this feature is not presence in Solanum nodiflorum. The plant that I saw did not had an exserted style.

When I thought that I had everything figured out 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. 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.

Reference:

[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 |

Online Resources: | Electronic Flora of South Australia | Alien Plants of Belgium | New Zealand Plant Conservation Network |

In 2012, I collected some matured fruits from the wild and grew the plant in my pot. | Read more |

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