Solanum dulcamara L.
Common Name: WOODY NIGHTSHADE, BITTERSWEET, BITTERSWEET NIGHTSHADE, EUROPEAN BITTERSWEET
Coefficient of Conservatism: *
Coefficient of Wetness: 0
Wetness Index: FAC
Physiognomy: Ad W-Vine

Solanum dulcamara flowers A. A. Reznicek flowers

Introduced from Eurasia and so thoroughly naturalized in North America that to many people it appears as if native. First collected in Washtenaw Co. in 1860, the species was apparently widespread in the southern Lower Peninsula by the 1890’s. Now all too abundant in swamps (conifers and hardwoods), depressions and clearings in deciduous forests, edges of ponds and marshes, river banks, thickets and shores, disturbed ground, dumps, roadsides, railroads, fields, cultivated ground, and gardens.

All our plants have at least a little pubescence on the leaves and stems, especially young ones. The larger leaves are almost always deeply lobed, but smaller ones may not be. The attractive flowers with purple corollas and cone of yellow anthers are familiar to many. The corolla is occasionally white: f. albiflorum Farw. The ripe fruit is an attractive red. Plants emit an unpleasant odor when bruised, and all parts are ± poisonous if ingested.

This is the original Old World “bittersweet,” but in North America that common name has more often been used for Celastrus, a genus not native in Europe and of a different family (Celastraceae).

Locations

Allegan County
Alpena County
Antrim County
Arenac County
    Including Charity Island
Baraga County
Barry County
Bay County
Benzie County
Berrien County
Branch County
Calhoun County
Cass County
Charlevoix County
    Including Beaver Island
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
Clinton County
Crawford County
Delta County
Eaton County
Emmet County
Genesee County
Gladwin County
Grand Traverse County
Gratiot County
Hillsdale County
Houghton County
Huron County
Ingham County
Ionia County
Iosco County
Isabella County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kalkaska County
Kent County
Keweenaw County
Lake County
Lapeer County
Leelanau County
    Including Fox Islands
    Including Manitou Islands
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Luce County
Mackinac County
Macomb County
Manistee County
Marquette County
Mason County
Mecosta County
Menominee County
Midland County
Missaukee County
Monroe County
Montcalm County
Muskegon County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Oceana County
Ogemaw County
Ontonagon County
Osceola County
Otsego County
Ottawa County
Presque Isle County
Roscommon County
Saginaw County
Sanilac County
Schoolcraft County
Shiawassee County
St. Clair County
St. Joseph County
Tuscola County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County
Wexford County

Citation:

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. December 11, 2017. http://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=2710.