Solanum elaeagnifolium

Botanical Name : Solanum elaeagnifolium
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. elaeagnifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name :Prairie Berry, Silverleaf Nettle, White Horsenettle or Silver Nightshade,Bull-nettle, “Horsenettle” and the Spanish “trompillo”, Silver-leaf bitter-apple or satansbos

Habitat : Solanum elaeagnifolium  is a common weed of western North America and also found in South America.Its range is from Kansas south to Louisiana, and west through the Mexican-border states of the United States into Mexico, as well as Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. It may have originated in North America and was accidentally introduced to South America or the reverse. It can grow in poor soil with very little water. It spreads by rhizomes as well as seeds, and is common in disturbed habitats. It is considered a noxious weed in 21 U.S. states and in countries such as Australia, Egypt, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It  grows in desert, Upland. This prickly weed is most common in highly disturbed areas like at the edge of fields and in overgrazed pastures, drainage ditches, and vacant lots.

Description:
Solanum elaeagnifolium is a perennial plant 10 cm to 1 m in height. The stems are covered with nettle-like prickles, ranging from very few on some plants to very dense on others. Leaves and stems are covered with downy hairs (trichomes) that lie against and hide the surface, giving a silvery or grayish appearance.

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The leaves are up to 15 cm long and 0.5 to 2.5 cm wide, with shallowly waved edges, which distinguish it from the closely related Carolina Horsenettle (S. carolinense), which has wider, more deeply indented leaves. The flowers, appearing from April to August, have five petals united to form a star, ranging from blue to pale lavender or occasionally white; five yellow stamens and a pistil form a projecting center. The plant produces glossy yellow, orange, or red berries that last all winter and may turn brown as they dry.

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Medicinal Uses:
The weed is useful to  treat cutaneous diseases, syphilitic conditions, excites venereal functions, leprosy, teeter, eczema, scrofula, rheumatic and cachectic affections, ill-conditioned ulcers, glandular swellings, obstructed menstruation, and as a treatment of cancers. Tea is taken 1-2 cups is good for skin/hair diseases and worms. Bark in vodka is taken a few drops at a time for heart disease.
Externally 1 lb of bark is heated slowly in 1 lb of lard for 8 hours treats painful tumors, ulcers, irritated skin, piles, burns, scalds, etc..

Other Uses: The Pima Indians used the berries as a vegetable rennet, and the Kiowa used the seeds together with brain tissue to tan leather.Some gardeners encourage it as a xeriscape ornamental.

Known Hazards:
Poisonous – The plants, especially the leaves and green, unripe, cherry tomato-like fruit, are poisonous and contain the glycoalkaloid solanine as well as the tropane alkaloids scopolamine (hyoscine) and hyoscyamine

It is toxic to livestock and very hard to control, as root stocks less than 1 cm long can regenerate into plants.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_elaeagnifolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.fireflyforest.com/flowers/2369/solanum-elaeagnifolium-silverleaf-nightshade/

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