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Solanum diphyllum, Twoleaf nightshade

Solanum diphyllum

Twoleaf nightshade
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: Mexico, Central America
Large shrub 5-10 ftSmall shrub 2-5 ftFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterWhite/off-white flowersIrritatingInvasiveSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

A perennial woody shrub, can be shaped into a small standard tree. Leaves are 1-2", dark green and shiny/glossy, come in unequal pairs: one is large and elliptic, the other small and rounded. The drooping white flowers have five recurved petals and stamens with large yellow anthers. The flowers are pollinated by wasps, bees, and flies-the vibration of the wings causes the anthers to release the pollen. The many-seeded berries ripen to yellow-orange. They are very sweet and juicy. The fruit attract sweet-loving insects and birds. Birds eat the berries and are the primary dispersers of the seeds.

This plant is listed as poisonous (like many plants of Solanaceae Family), so it is unknown if the fruit is harmless to humans.

It is cultivated in China and Taiwan as an ornamental and for hedges. Can become invasive in favorable conditions.

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