Please help identify plant w/ small black fruits

otcayJune 12, 2014

We inherited a yard from the previous owner of the house with an unusual patch of garden, in one corner sprang this plant. It doesn't seem to grow erect but prefer to bush out closer to the ground.The leaves look like a capsicum and it bore tiny white flowers which later formed small round fruits the size of capers. The fruits were initially green then "ripen" to black. Is this a noxious weed or some prized exotic plant? Help!

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A photo with the green fruits

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:11AM
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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

is this it? not-so-deadly nightshade. (see link)

Here is a link that might be useful: nightshade

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:37AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Maybe it's Solanum burbankii. Common names are wonderberry and garden huckleberry, among others.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:20AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Not 'Deadly' Nightshade - that is Atropa belladonna. The plant at the link is Black Nightshade and the OP's photo could show that or one of the similar Solanums such as S reflexii aka S burbankii. I don't know enough about them to tell them apart.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:36AM
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Does not much resemble the Solanum burbankii (wonderberry) I grew - the leaves are too long. Does look like a nightshade. There are many.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:10AM
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Thank you for the insights

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 11:21PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

They all belong to solanum/nigtshade family as do eggplants and peppers. Whether or not they are edible or deadly, is another matter that I don't know.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:20AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Agree with Floral_uk, it looks like one of the black nightshades, probably S. douglasii given your location. There are several very similar species, and they grow wild pretty much everywhere. I take great pains to ensure that they never go to seed in my gardens, and they still crop up from dormant seed or from bird droppings.

When I lived in San Diego, the local Hmong community cultivated one of the black nightshades extensively. There is a pretty god write up of the various species & their properties in the link below.

Personally, I would just treat it like the weed that it is & dispose of it.

Really nice jade plant bush behind it, by the way.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black nightshade

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:04AM
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It IS the weed, and actually pretty bad one. It spreads a lot, doesn't mind shade, easily growing under large plants. And because it is from the same family as tomatoes, potato, peppers, it spreads the same diseases, they could have. That can mess with your crop "rotation". I kill it as soon as I see one.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 5:38AM
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