Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Solanum dulcamara
felonwort, bittersweet nightshade, climbing nightshade

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Thickets, clearings and open woods, usually in moist soil

Flowers: May-September

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, flies


Odorous, rhizomatous perennial herb, becoming shrubby below, tending to climb or scramble on other vegetation to a height of 1-3 m., the herbage moderately short-hairy to glabrous.


Leaves petiolate, some simple with ovate-subcordate blade 2.5-8 cm. long and 1.5-5 cm. wide, others with a pair of smaller basal lobes or leaflets.


Inflorescence 10- to 25-flowered, branched, jointed, bractless, 3-8 cm. wide, attached along the stem or opposite the leaves on peduncles 1.5-4 cm. long; calyx deeply cleft, the 5 pointed lobes reflexed; corolla blue or light violet, rotate, the 5 pointed lobes 5-9 mm. long, soon reflexed; stamens 5, the anthers conspicuous, yellow; style solitary; ovary superior.


Fruit a bright, red berry, ellipsoid-globose, 8-11 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Solanum dulcamara L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 185. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Solanum dulcamara L. var. dulcamara
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Solanum dulcamara in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Solanum dulcamara checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Solanum dulcamara information.

E-Flora BC: Solanum dulcamara atlas page.

CalPhotos: Solanum dulcamara photos.

USDA Plants: Solanum dulcamara information.

36 photographs:
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