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Uses

Toxic parts

There is a lot of disagreement over whether or not the leaves or fruit of this plant are poisonous. Views vary from relatively poisonous to perfectly safe to eat. The plant is cultivated as a food crop, both for its fruit and its leaves, in some parts of the world and it is probably true to say that toxicity can vary considerably according to where the plant is grown and the cultivar that is being grown[1][2][3][4][5][6]. The unripe fruit contains the highest concentration of toxins[5].

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - cooked[7][8][9][10]. Used in preserves, jams and pies[11]. A pleasant musky taste[12]. Somewhat like a tomato, but much less pleasant, it improves slightly after a frost[K]. Only the fully ripe fruits should be used, the unripe fruits contain the toxin solanine[5][13][11]. The fruit contains about 2.5% protein, 0.6% fat, 5.6% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash[10]. The fruit is about 9mm in diameter[14]. Young leaves and new shoots - raw or cooked as a potherb or added to soups[7][8][12][9][13][10][11]. This plant is cultivated as a leaf crop in some areas, but see the notes at the top of the page regarding possible toxicity.

Fruit

Leaves

Material uses

This species has been found to be effective in removing PCB's from the soil and detoxifying them[15]. The plant is more effective in doing this if it is infected with the bacterial parasite Agrobacterium tumefaciens[15].
There are no material uses listed for Solanum nigrum.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The whole plant is antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, narcotic, purgative and sedative[1][16][17][18][19][20]. It is harvested in the autumn when both flowers and fruit are upon the plant, and is dried for later use[1]. Use with caution[16], see notes above on toxicity.

The leaves, stems and roots are used externally as a poultice, wash etc in the treatment of cancerous sores, boils, leucoderma and wounds[20][21].

Extracts of the plant are analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and vasodilator[20]. The plant has been used in the manufacture of locally analgesic ointments and the juice of the fruit has been used as an analgesic for toothaches[2].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Soil builder

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in a greenhouse during the spring if required. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out in late spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Solanum nigrum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils[22]. Dislikes shade[22]. Flowers are formed on the old wood[23]. Very tolerant of dry conditions[23].

Caterpillars and slugs are particularly fond of this plant and can totally destroy it[K]. Grows well with clover[24]. Does not grow well with wormwood or white mustard and, when these plants are growing close to S. nigra, they increase its content of toxic alkaloids[24].

Some forms of this plant are cultivated for their edible fruits or leaves[14], see notes about possible toxicity at the top of this page. The leaves of one form are sold in local markets in Greece[25].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Solanum nigrum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Solanum nigrum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Solanum nigrum
Genus
Solanum
Family
Solanaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Solanum nigrum.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Solanum nigrum.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Solanum nigrum.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
    4. ? Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Polunin. O. and Huxley. A. Flowers of the Mediterranean. Hogarth Press ISBN 0-7012-0784-1 (1987-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.2 Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-508302 (1990-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.2 Anderson. A. New Scientist IPC Magazines Ltd, London ISBN 0262-4079 (1997-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Singh. Dr. G. and Kachroo. Prof. Dr. P. Forest Flora of Srinagar. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (1976-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    19. ? 19.019.1 Emboden. W. Narcotic Plants Studio Vista ISBN 0-289-70864-8 (1979-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.120.220.3 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
    24. ? 24.024.1 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    25. ? Niebuhr. A. D. Herbs of Greece. Herb Society of America. (1970-00-00)
    26. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

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