Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense)

Category B Weed

Nightshade family (Solanaceae)

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  • 1-3 ft. tall, branched, covered with spines (less than 0.2 in. long) and short hairs


    • Alternate, oval to lance-shaped and 3-6 in. long; spines often on veins on undersides of leaves; edges (margins) are wavy to lobed

    • Leaves covered with tiny yellow hairs; hairs appear star-shaped with magnification


      • Star-shaped with 5 white to pale violet petals; 0.75-1.5 in. diameter; 5-20 flowers clustered on stalks at tips of branches

      • Berries are round (0.25-0.75 in. diameter), shiny, yellow and resemble tiny tomatoes


        • Deep, creeping root system


          • Grows best in sandy, well-drained soils; often infests crop fields and pastures; known to occur in Elko County

          • Perennial; reproduces by seed and creeping roots

          • Also known as Carolina horsenettle; native to North America; toxic to livestock and humans; hosts a number of diseases and insects that attack related plants, such as tomato and potato


            • Tillage, mowing and grazing are NOT effective

            • Repeated hand-digging of individual plants can be effective for small infestations

            • Apply glyphosate or 2,4-D to young, actively growing plants; picloram at full flower; imazapyrto actively growing plants


              Horsenettle Plant
              Mature Plant
              Horsenettle Flowers
              Horsenettle Fruit
              Horsenettle Leaves on stem
              Leaves on stem
              Horsenettle Seedling
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