Plant Image
Granite Mtn - Tr 308 - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Solanum elaeagnifolium - silverleaf nightshade

Other Common Names: white horse nettle, silver horse nettle, bull nettle, desert nightshade, trompillo
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Solanaceae

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Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial   Similar Species: Solanum dimidiatum
General Desc: An erect to ascending, sparingly branched plant; herbage silvery-haired; stems, petioles, and leaf midribs prickly with slender yellowish spines. The short silvery hairs on the leaves and stems explain the common name.
Identification notes: Creeping rhizomes; woody stems at base, erect to ascending, slightly branched; herbage with silvery hairs and spines; leaves alternate; showy bluish-purple to purple to white flowers; yellow to brownish round berries not enclosed by sepals.
Height: Up to 3 feet


Habitat Description: Found on sandy plains, arroyos, outwash slopes and disturbed areas.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3500 - 6000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Bluish-purple, purple or white     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Oct
Description: Flower clusters of 5 to 8 flowers at branch tips; flowers to 1-1/2 inches wide, anthers bright yellow.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Light green, silvery     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: Y
Leaf Description: Leaves have a light green, silvery appearance, to 4 inches long. Leaf margins are wavy. Lower surface is densely covered with radiating hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Yellow to brownish   
Fruit Type: Berry-like
Fruit Notes: Resembles small tomatoes that remain on the plant for months, 1/2 inch in diameter.
Seed Notes: Brown, lens-shaped seeds.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Content Questions/Comments: Email Matt Halldorson  
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