Solanum eleagnifolium Cav.
Region: 1 through 10 (Ellis County is in Region 4)
Size: 1 – 3 feet
Blooms: March through October, Perennial
The stems and leaves of this prickly plant are covered with tiny stellate or star-shaped, hairs that give it a silvery-green or gray-green appearance. Leaves are one and one-half to six inches long, with shallowly wavy edges. The five petals of the blue to purple flowers unite at the base for about half their length, then separate into five wide lobes. They look a little like fat, one-inch stars. Flowers are centered with very conspicuous, erect, yellow anthers. Silverleaf nightshade is considered a problem plant by farmers. The wild flower enthusiast, however, can appreciate the beauty of the blue and silver plants growing in masses along roads, in pastures, and abandoned places. This relative of the tomato is highly toxic to livestock and humans. Its fruit, a half-inch yellow berry, is sometimes used as a substitute for rennet in making cheese.
Article By: Melinda Kocian