Cut-leaf Nightshade

(Solanum triflorum)
Cut-leaf nightshade flower, photo: Karen Stewart

What is cut-leaf nightshade?

  • Cut-leaf nightshade is a native of North America that has become a weed of cultivation and disturbed sites.
  • Cut-leaf nightshade is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of cut-leaf nightshade are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify cut-leaf nightshade

  • Cut-leaf nightshade is a sprawling non-woody plant growing from 30 to 100 cm high and spreading to 50 to 100 cm. The stems and lobed, toothed leaves are sparsely hairy and without spines. The flowers are white to pale purple, often in clusters of three on short stalks, and the fruits are a marbled-green berry about 10 cm in diameter.
  • Cut-leaf nightshade flowers in summer, fruiting extends from summer through to autumn and seeds are ripe by early autumn. Germination occurs in autumn and winter.
Cut-leaf nightshade flowering, photo: Karen Stewart Cut-leaf nightshade, photo: Karen Stewart Cut-leaf nightshade berries, photo: Karen Stewart
Image top & above left: flowering cut-leaf nightshade, © Karen Stewart.
Images above centre & right: cut-leaf nightshade plant & berries, © Karen Stewart.

Cut-leaf nightshade in Tasmania

  • Cut-leaf nightshade occurs in the Seven Mile Beach area in Tasmania's south. It prefers sunny positions with well drained soils. It is found growing on dunes, recreational areas, along roadsides and in stock yards. Cut-leaf nightshade has the potential to be a serious agricultural weed in Tasmania.
  • Cut-leaf nightshade can infest a variety of crops such as potatoes, where it may be difficult to control. All parts of the plant are toxic to mammals. Cut-leaf nightshade is also a host for the tomato spotted wilt virus.

What is the legal status of cut-leaf nightshade in your area?

What you need to do

  • If you locate cut-leaf nightshade anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be cut-leaf nightshade, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.
Detailed management and control guidelines for cut-leaf nightshade can be found in the Cut-leaf Nightshade Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Cut-leaf Nightshade Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

See also
Herbicides for Cut-leaf Nightshade Control
Statutory Management Plan for Cut-leaf Nightshade
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

Cut-leaf Nightshade Control Guide

Spread of cut-leaf nightshade

  • Cut-leaf nightshade spreads by seed. The seed viability of cut-leaf nightshade is not certain, but some research indicates that it can remain viable in the soil for around nine years.
  • Rooting from the nodes results in some local spread of the plant.
  • Although toxic, animals are known to spread the seed.
  • Cut-leaf nightshade can be spread by machinery, vehicles and contaminated material such as soil and sand.

Avoid the introduction of cut-leaf nightshade

  • Dispose of removed material carefully to avoid new plants germinating.
  • Ensure all vehicles and machinery that have been in a cut-leaf nightshade infested area are thoroughly cleaned down before moving to a clean area.
  • See the Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading cut-leaf nightshade.

Physical removal

  • Individual plants can be dug out. Ensure any fruiting plants are bagged and deep buried on site.

Chemical control

  • Under an off-label permit issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), there are herbicides registered for the control of cut-leaf nightshade in Tasmania. See Herbicides for Cut-leaf Nightshade Control for more information.

Herbicides for Cut-leaf Nightshade Control

Herbicides for Cut-leaf Nightshade Control

Important Disclaimer
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