White-edged Nightshade

(Solanum marginatum)

Image: White-edged nightshade,
mature plant, © DPIPWE.

What is white-edged nightshade?

  • White-edged nightshade is a toxic weed found on roadsides, waste areas and in gardens.
  • White-edged nightshade is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of white-edged nightshade are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify white-edged nightshade?

  • White-edged nightshade is a small shrub growing to 1.5 metres high. The stems are silvery-white and densely hairy and with scattered yellow prickles. The leaves are dull green with white edges above, and with a dense mass of white hairs on the lower surface. Upper and lower surfaces of the leaves also have scattered yellow prickles. The flowers are white to pale mauve and carried in groups of 2 to 8 at the ends of branches. The fruit is a yellow berry.
  • Seeds germinate in spring and summer, with seedlings growing slowly in their first season. Flowering is in October to November. Plants become dormant in late autumn or early winter, and resprout in the spring.
  • For help in identifying white-edged nightshade, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora database for white-edged nightshade illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 for help.
Image: White-edged nightshade immature fruit, © DPIPWE.
Image: White-edged nightshade leaves,
spines, & flower, © DPIPWE.

White-edged nightshade in Tasmania

  • White-edged nightshade is an occasional weed of neglected areas and roadsides in Tasmania. It has been reported on the east coast at Swansea and on Maria Island, the north-west coast and larger infestations have been found around Hobart.
  • White-edged nightshade can invade coastal environments making it a potentially serious environmental weed. White-edged nightshade is also found in gardens as an ornamental. White-edged nightshade is also toxic and has caused illness in people eating the fruits. White-edged nightshade is not currently a serious weed of pasture or crops in Tasmania.

What is the legal status of white-edged nightshade in your area?

  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with white-edged nightshade are laid out in the white-edged nightshade Statutory Weed Management Plan.
  • Use Table 1 (Zone A municipalities) to find out whether this weed occurs in your municipality.
Detailed management and control guidelines for white-edged nightshade can be found in the White-edged nightshade Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for White-edged nightshade Control. For further information see Weed Links and Resources.

See also:
White-edged nightshade Statutory Weed Management Plan
Herbicides for White-edged Nightshade Control
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links:
Pest Genie

White-edged Nightshade Control Guide


  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
  • Get in early - for new infestations, eradicate before the plants reach the flowering stage: once plants begin seeding, control becomes more difficult and expensive;
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see Herbicides for White-edged nightshade Control for more information);
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;
  • Use a combination of different control methods.


  • Don't introduce white-edged nightshade to white-edged nightshade-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't allow white-edged nightshade to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential; and
  • Don't plant white-edged nightshade as a garden ornamental.

Spread of white-edged nightshade

  • White-edged nightshade spreads by seed.
  • The fruit is not particularly attractive to birds or animals, and most spread is by fruit in surface water.
  • Spread also occurs in soil contaminated with seed during gardening activities and road-making.
  • White-edged nightshade seed is also occasionally sold for planting as a garden ornamental.

Avoid the introduction of white-edged nightshade

  • Avoid planting white-edged nightshade as a garden ornamental. Remove any white-edged nightshade plants already present in gardens.

Physical removal

  • Individual plants can be dug out. Ensure any fruiting plants are destroyed to avoid spreading seed.

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 white-edged nightshade in Tasmania. See Herbicides for White-edged Nightshade Control for more information.

Herbicides for White-edged Nightshade Control

Herbicides for White-edged nightshade Control

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To the extent permitted by law, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.