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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2008-12-16 09:52 UTC (manoela.miranda@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2015-09-11 14:36 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2015-09-11 14:36 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

Organism information
Scientific name
Solanum nigrum
Taxonomic Classification
SpeciesSolanum nigrum
Common name(s)
Black nightshade
Additional Classification
Type of organism
Organism domestication
  • Wild
Characteristics related to biosafety
Centre(s) of origin
The precise mode of origin of Solanum nigrum is far from being completely understood, though it almost certainly arose polytopically. The morphological variation in the species is extensive and identical to that exhibited by its proven progenitor S. villosum.

S. nigrum, though probably native to South America, is the most ubiquitous and widely distributed species found in the Solanum section; it is undoubtedly composed of several distinct infraspecific variants, as well as morphologically distinct ecogeographical biotypes. Depending on the source of these different biotypes contributing to the genome complement of S. nigrum, and could therefore have had several different modes of origin. Edmonds (1979a) suggested that if S. nigrum is an allopolyploid, then it is possible that the third progenitor may not be found in Europe, and that S. nigrum might have evolved in Africa or, more probably, in Asia where this hexaploid and its two known progenitors are particularly variable.
Habitat range
The species related to the black nightshade are widely distributed in various habitats throughout the world, from tropical to temperate regions and from sea level to altitudes exceeding 3500 m. Their wide tolerance of habitat types, their ability to flower while still young and their prolific seed production all contribute to the success of these species as widespread weeds.

They are generally found in disturbed habitats, such as roadsides, often on arable land especially the edges of cultivated fields and plantations, in hedgerows, on railway cuttings, quaysides and rubbish tips, in areas around buildings and houses, under trees, on forest and grassland margins, as garden weeds, on shingle beaches, riverbanks and in gullies in most parts of the world.

The species mainly colonize moist environments, only occurring in areas of low rainfall when the land is subject to irrigation. Indeed the intensification of agriculture, particularly when associated with the extension of irrigation systems has been largely responsible for the rapid spread of this species.
Additional Information
Additional Information
Poisoning occurs from ingesting the plants or parts of it, especially the unripened fruits.

The main target organs are the cardiovascular and central nervous system, and the gastrointestinal tract. The main signs and symptoms are cardiovascular (tachycardia, arrhythmia and hypotension) on the central nervous system (delirium, psychomotor, agitation, paralysis, coma and convulsion) and gastrointestinal nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).

Records referencing this document (12)
12record(s) found
Gene and DNA Sequence5 records
Modified Organism7 records