Solanaceae / Nightshade
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Lore: Like other Nightshades all parts of this species should be considered highly posionious. It is thought that the berries loose there toxic properties when fully ripe and that wildlife eat them and reportedly some people eat them also both cooked and raw.
Medical Uses: See; Carolina Horsenettle, Solanum carolinense.
Similar Species: Black Nightshade Solanum nigrum is a European species
introduced in the U. S. It is very like this species but its flowers tend to be in racemes as opposed to umbels and the fruit is dull black.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves