Winter Whites

The gift of Solanum marginatum from Dustin opened a chilly-looking bloom yesterday.


For a solanum from Abyssinia, the White-Edged Nightshade really knows how to dress for winter.

(Labeled from the grower as S. marginata, but my trusty Hortus Third says S. marginatum.
Not many references to its use as an ornamental, but lots of treatises on its pharmaceutical importance.)

And what a handy chart from the USDA on this solanum’s place in the plant hierarchy:

Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Solanales
Family Solanaceae – Potato family
Genus Solanum L. – nightshade
Species Solanum marginatum L. f. – purple African nightshade

The USDA considers this plant a noxious weed in California. If I was less urban and more rural, I’d be concerned. Still, I won’t be freely passing seedlings, if any, of this one around in California.

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3 Responses to Winter Whites

  1. Kathy says:

    Very nice ! I think the closest I’ll get to this is Salvia argentea- I am currently developing my anti-snail strategy for next year.

  2. People worry too much, it’s dubious that it would be invasive.

    Save me some seeds.

  3. Denise says:

    Kathy, I think the thorns on this one are giving the snails pause. S. argentea is always ribbons of felty leaves for me.
    Dustin, of course I’ll save seeds for you. Neighbors have chastised me for growing feather grass in the parkway, claiming it would take over the neighborhood, but it hasn’t. If I was near wilderness areas, I wouldn’t chance it.

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