Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 24th, 2011

Silverleaf nightshade

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One native plant that has flourished since the spring and has paid no heed to this year’s drought is silverleaf nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium (and why do botanists have a thing for hard-to-spell names with three vowels in a row?). Common on roadsides all over central Texas, where at least some plants can usually still be found flowering right into the cold of winter, this nightshade is covered with soft hairs that give it a grayish-green appearance (gray being the poor man’s version, the true version in this case, of silver). Look at this photograph of a silverleaf nightshade bud and tell me if it doesn’t look like it’s made of felt. Touch it if you will but taste it not, because like other nightshades it’s poisonous.

For more information about Solanum elaeagnifolium, including a clickable map showing the many places in the United States where this species grows, you can visit the USDA websiste.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2011 at 5:47 AM

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