Solanum carolinense L.


Solanum carolinense is a perennial that can reproduce by seed or rhizomes. It has spines on the leaves and stems and can grow up to 3 ft. (0.9 m) in height.
Leaves are elliptic-oblong to oval, alternate, petioled, 2.5-4.5 in. (6.4-11.4 cm) long and covered on both surfaces with hairs. Leaves also emit a potato odor when crushed, and contain prominent prickles on the petiole. Stems are angled at the nodes, become woody with age, and also have prickles and hairs.
Flowers occur in clusters and are star-shaped with 5 white to violet petals and a yellow center.
The fruit is a berry, green when immature, turning yellow and wrinkled with maturity.
Ecological Threat
S. carolinense is native to the United States. All parts of the plants, except the mature fruit, are capable of poisoning livestock if eaten in sufficient quantity, however consumption rarely occurs due to the prickly stems and leaves. It is a weed of perennial crops and can be weedy in reduced-tillage crops like corn and small grains. It grows best on well-drained soils. Use gloves when handling the plant.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

State Regulated List
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Subject: Solanum carolinense L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Carolina horsenettle, apple of Sodom, bull nettle, devil's tomato, horsenettle, sand briar


Plants - Forbs/Herbs