Dormancy

    Bittersweet Nightshade

    Solanum dulcamara

    bittersweet nightshade

    Bittersweet nightshade (Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org)

    bittersweet nightshade

    Bittersweet nightshade flowers (Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org)

    bittersweet nightshade

    Bittersweet nightshade growth habit (Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    • climbing vine with alternately arranged lance or heart-shaped leaves; rhizomes (underground stems) are produced by the plant
    • star-shaped flowers with purple petals that curve away from a yellow conical center
    • clusters of round berries change color from green to yellow to orange to red as they mature
    • all plant parts are toxic

    Location

    • climbing and twining through small trees and shrubs or up structures such as fences

    Life Cycle

    • perennial; seedlings germinate in early spring
    • flowers appear late spring to early fall
    • berries are produced late summer until late fall

    IPM Recommendations

    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation and manually remove underground structures to prevent re-sprouting.
    • Spot treat foliage with appropriate post-emergent systemic herbicide when plants are actively growing.