(c) Chuck Kugler
|Sprawling, climbing vine. Lower leaves
generally divided into 3 leaflets, or into 3 lobes, the terminal
largest. Upper leaves may be simpler. Flowers in
small clusters along stem, purple, 5-parted, star-shaped,
with a yellow column of stamens protruding. Fruits are red
berries, resembling miniature tomatoes, poisonous.
common in gardens and waste places. In Wildwood,
occasional along Wildwood Drive and the Riverway bike path.
The attractive flowers and miniature tomato fruits are
distinctive and make this plant easy to identify.
(S. nigrum) has similar flowers, except white.
The berries are black and the leaves simple. Horse nettle (S. carolinense) also has similar flowers, but larger and white; the leaves are toothed or lobed and the berry yellow.