Potato creeper

Potato creeper

Solanum seaforthianum (Solanaceae)

Common Name:

Potato creeper

Scientific Name:

Solanum seaforthianum (Solanaceae)


Alternative common names:

Brazilian nightshade, climbing nightshade (English), aartappelranker (Afrikaans), ijalamu (isiZulu)

Description:

A slender herbaceous or woody climber growing 2-3m high with bright green leaves that are thinly textured and deeply lobed into leaflets. Showy blue to purple flowers in long drooping clusters bloom from December to March. Small, shiny berries 5-10mm across, green turning red. Fruits, leaves and stems are poisonous.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Tropical America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA 2020 - Category 1b

Where does this species come from?

Tropical America

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal

Why is it a problem?

Overtops and smothers other species. Poisonous. Indigenous birds could neglect the dispersal of indigenous plants as a consequence of their preference for the fruits of this alien species

What does it look like?

General description: Slender herbaceous or woody climber, 2-3m high.
Leaves: Bright green leaves that are thinly textured and deeply lobed into leaflets
Flowers: Showy blue to purple flowers in long drooping clusters from December to March
Fruit/seeds: Small, shiny berries 5-10mm across, green turning red

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornament. Birds eat the berries

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