Solanum carolinense


Common Names: Carolina horsenettle, radical weed, sand brier or briar, bull nettle, tread-softly, apple of Sodom, devil's tomato, wild tomato
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Nightshades

The plant grows to 91 cm tall, is perennial, and spreads by both seeds and underground rhizome. Stems of older plants are woody. The stem and undersides of larger leaf veins are covered with spines. Leaves are alternate, elliptic-oblong to oval, 6.4 to 11.4 cm long, and each is irregularly lobed or coarsely toothed. Both surfaces are covered with fine hairs. Leaves smell like potatoes when crushed. The flowers have five petals and are usually white or purple with yellow centers, though there is a blue variant that resembles the tomato flower. The fruits also resemble tomatoes. The immature fruit is dark green with light green stripes, turning yellow and wrinkled as it matures. Each fruit contains around 60 seeds.

found growing in pastures, roadsides, railroad margins, and in disturbed areas and waste ground. It flowers throughout the summer, from April to October.

Primary Flower Color: White
Secondary Flower Color: Blue/Purple
 
Edible Notes: Poisonous.
Warnings: All parts of the plant, including its tomato-like fruit, are poisonous to varying degrees due to the presence of solanine glycoalkaloids which is a toxic alkaloid and one of the plant's natural defenses. While ingesting any part of the plant can cause fever, headache, scratchy throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, ingesting the fruit can cause abdominal pain, circulatory and respiratory depression, or even death.

It also has spines that can pierce the skin.
Sightings