Black Nightshade

Solanum nigrum
Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) is a significant weed in arable and horticultural crops but it is also common in disturbed pasture. Black nightshade is present throughout New Zealand but less so in the lower South Island. Distinctive black berries (7-10 mm) can be found on mature plants.
Black Nightshade


Very common throughout New Zealand, black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) is a problematic weed in horticulture, arable and beet crops. Often very numerous and quick growing, black nightshade can be a serious competitor to crops, including fodder beet.

In fodder beet is readily controlled as a seedling up to 3-4 leaf stage.


  • Egg shaped
  • Broad - oval with pointed apex
  • Base tapered, hairy and stalked

Leaves - Seedling/Young Plant:

  • Oval to egg shaped, sparsely haired
  • Leaves alternate on stems with veins radiating outward

When mature black nightshade produces strong, multiple stemmed and spreading plants up to 750 mm tall.

Leaves are dark green, coarsely toothed and pointed at the tips. Flowers are white with five petals and yellow anthers, which produce distinctive green round berries (7-10 mm) that ripen to black.

Black Nightshade

Black Nightshade

Related Weeds