Solanum Species of Texas

Solanum is a genus in the Nightshade family (Solanaceae) that contains between 1,500 and 2,000 species, twelve of which occur naturally in Texas. The genus Solanum includes the potato (S. tuberosum) and the tomato (S. lycopersicum). In addition to these two important plants, the family Solanaceae also includes peppers, eggplant, tobacco, and petunias.

Despite being highly poisonous to livestock and humans, one Texas native species, Solanum elaeagnifolium (Silverleaf Nightshade), has historically been and continues to be useful to humans. Native Americans used various parts of the plant to treat a number of ailments such as toothache, snakebites, respiratory problems, colds, eye injuries/irritation, stomach problems, sneezing, and constipation. Additionally, parts of the plant were used in the process of tanning hides, curdling milk, making cheese, and increasing human lactation periods. Modern uses include synthesis of birth control hormones and corticosteroids, limiting growth of certain cancer cells, and treating herpes. Silverleaf nightshade is native to Texas and New Mexico, but has been widely introduced across the US and to other continents, where it is considered an aggressive invasive weed. It is considered a noxious weed in several US states.

12 species native to Texas, and notes on their occurrence in the state:

S. americanum (American Black Nightshade) (USDA reports occurrences only in panhandle, but iNat reports occurrences mostly in the eastern third of the state)
S. campechiense (Redberry Nightshade) (mostly in Rio Grande Valley)
S. carolinense (Carolina Horsenettle) (mostly in East Texas)
S. citrullifolium (Watermelon Nightshade) (Seemingly rare in Texas, mostly in Trans Pecos with some occurrences in Central Texas)
S. dimidiatum (Western Horsenettle) (across most of the state, except TransPecos, Coastal Plain, and panhandle)
S. douglasii (Greenspot Nightshade) (seemingly rare in Texas, occurs mostly in southern half of state)
S. elaeagnifolium (Silverleaf Nightshade) (very common, occurs statewide)
S. erianthum (Potato Tree) (occurs in Rio Grande Valley)
S. heterodoxum (Melonleaf Nightshade) (seemingly rare in Texas, iNat reports one occurrence near Marathon, TX)
S. ptycanthum (Eastern Black Nightshade) (occurs mostly south of I-10 and east of I-35)

See sources:

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/combo.php?demo=&fromsearch=true&distribution=TX&habit=&duration=

https://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/ethnobot/images/silverleaf.html

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/50516

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanaceae

Publicado por mattgeo1990 mattgeo1990, 18 de mayo de 2018

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