Horsenettle – Solanum carolinense


Solanum carolinense L.
Solanaceae (Nightshade family)

Life cycle

Spreading to erect, patch-forming perennial.


Alternate, egg-shaped, shallowly to deeply lobed, 2 to 5 inches long with sharp, prominent prickles on the leaf veins, midveins and petioles. Star-shaped hairs are present on both leaf surfaces.


Spreading to erect, herbaceous stems with multiple branching, up to 3 feet in height. Stemshave sharp, prominent prickles and star-shaped hairs.

Flowers and fruit

Flowers are white to pale purple, star-shaped with five petals fused at the base and found in clusters on prickly flowering stalks. Flower centers consist of bright yellow, cone-shaped anthers. Berries are yellow at maturity, globe-shaped, wrinkled and approximately 0.5 inch across, and contain up to 170 seeds.


Seeds and deeply penetrating vertical to horizontal creeping roots.


All plant parts are toxic to animals.

Field shot of horsenettle
Horsenettle fruit
Horsenettle leaf
Horsenettle plant
Horsenettle spines

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