Solanum americanum

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Solanum americanum
Starr 010520-0074 Solanum americanum.jpg
American Nightshade
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. americanum
Binomial name
Solanum americanum
Mill.
Synonyms
  • Solanum adventitium Polgar
  • Solanum amarantoides Dunal
  • Solanum americanum var. nodiflorum (Jacq.) Edmonds
  • Solanum caribaeum Dunal
  • Solanum curtipes Bitter
  • Solanum depilatum Bitter
  • Solanum ganchouenense H. Lév.
  • Solanum gollmeri Bitter
  • Solanum humile Lam.
  • Solanum imerinense Bitter
  • Solanum inconspicuum Bitter
  • Solanum indecorum Rich.
  • Solanum inops Dunal
  • Solanum minutibaccatum Bitter
  • Solanum minutibaccatum var. curtipedunculatum Bitter
  • Solanum nigrum L.
  • Solanum nigrum var. americanum (Mill.) O.E. Schulz
  • Solanum nigrum var. atriplicifolium G. Mey.
  • Solanum nigrum var. minor Hook. f.
  • Solanum nigrum var. nodiflorum (Jacq.) A. Gray
  • Solanum nigrum var. pauciflorum Liou
  • Solanum nigrum var. virginicum L.
  • Solanum nodiflorum Jacq.
  • Solanum nodiflorum var. acuminatum Dunal
  • Solanum nodiflorum var. macrophyllum Dunal
  • Solanum nodiflorum var. petiolastrum Dunal
  • Solanum nodiflorum var. puberulum Dunal
  • Solanum nodiflorum var. sapucayense Chodat
  • Solanum oleraceum Dunal
  • Solanum parviflorum Badarò
  • Solanum photeinocarpum Nakam. & Odash.
  • Solanum pterocaulon Dunal
  • Solanum purpuratum Bitter
  • Solanum quadrangulare Thunb. ex L. f.
  • Solanum sciaphilum Bitter
  • Solanum tenellum Bitter
  • Solanum triangulare Lam.

Solanum americanum, commonly known as American nightshade or Glossy nightshade is a herbaceous flowering plant of wide though uncertain native range. The certain native range encompasses the tropics and subtropics of the Americas, Melanesia, New Guinea, and Australia.[1][2]

The plant is widely naturalised around the Tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, including Hawaiʻi, Indochina, Madagascar and Africa, possibly via anthropogenic introduction in these locales.

Solanum americanum is one of the most widespread and morphologically variable species belonging to the section Solanum.[3] It can be confused with other black nightshade species in the Solanum nigrum complex.[4]

Description[edit]

Solanum americanum grows up to 1–1.5 metres (39–59 in) tall and is an annual or short-lived perennial. The leaves are alternate on the branch, and vary greatly in size, up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long and 7 centimetres (2.8 in) broad, with a 4-centimetre (1.6 in) petiole and a coarsely wavy or toothed margin. The flowers are about 1 cm diameter, white or occasionally light purple, with yellow stamens. The fruit is a shiny black berry 5–10 millimetres (0.20–0.39 in) diameter, containing numerous small seeds.

Taxonomy[edit]

Solanum americanum is a variable taxon. It is considered by some botanists to be more than one species, and others recognise subspecies.[1] Some botanists have suggested that Solanum americanum' may be conspecific with the European nightshade, S. nigrum. [5]

Toxicity[edit]

Research indicates the presence of toxic glycoalkaloids and there are warnings to be careful on the use of S.americanum as herbal medicine and food.[4] The green fruit is particularly poisonous and eating unripe berries has caused the death of children.[6] Ripe berries and foliage may also cause poisoning.[6] This is via high levels of the glycoalkaloids, solanine and solamargine,.[7] Other toxins present in the plant include chaconine, solasonine, solanigrine, gitogenin and traces of saponins,[8] as well as the tropane alkaloids scopolamine (hyoscine), atropine and hyoscyamine.[9][10]

Significant amounts of solasodine(0.65%) have been found in the green berries.[11] The ripe fruit also contains 0.3-0.45% solasonine,[11] and acetylcholine, and has a cholinesterase-inhibiting effect on human plasma.[8] In Transkei, rural people have a high incidence of esophageal cancer thought to be a result of using S.americanum as a food.[8] Livestock can also be poisoned by high nitrate levels in the leaves.[8]

Toxicity varies widely depending on the genetic strain and the location conditions, like soil and rainfall.[6][8] Poisonous plant experts advise: "...unless you are certain that the berries are from an edible strain, leave them alone." [12]

Food[edit]

The ripe fruit is cooked into jams and preserves, or eaten raw.[8] In Africa, South America, New Guinea and Oceania the young green shoots of Solanum americanum are cooked and eaten as greens, after boiling in water.[13][14] The cooking water used for boiling the leaves is discarded as it contains the soluble alkaloids.[8] In Kenya, Cameroon and Papua New Guinea the leaves are sold as a leaf vegetable in the markets.[3] The leaves are used in a West Indian stew, and it is known as branched Kalaloo.[8] In Mauritius it is cultivated and eaten as a pot-herb and used in bouillon.[3] Experts warn that care should be taken since numerous toxins are reported with levels varying with local conditions and varieties.[6][11][12]

Medicine[edit]

It is used as a medicine in Cameroon, Kenya, Hawaiʻi, Panama, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Pakistan.[3][10] In China a tea from the whole plant is used to treat cancer of the cervix.[8] It is used as folk medicine for a wide range of conditions, being applied topically and internally.[8]

Medical Research[edit]

Extracts from S.americanum were found to have selective antiviral activity against the herpes simplex type-1 virus (HSV-1).[15]

Methanol extracts of S.americanum have high antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus niger. Water based extracts had no antibacterial activity.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Conn, Barry J. (2001). "Solanum americanum – New South Wales Flora Online". PlantNET – The Plant Information Network System. 2.0. Sydney, Australia: The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A. et al. (Dec 2010). "Factsheet – Solanum americanum". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Edition 6.1, online version [RFK 6.1]. Cairns, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, through its Division of Plant Industry; the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Edmonds, J. M., Chewya, J. A., Black Nightshades, Solanum nigrum L. and related species, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.[1]
  4. ^ a b Mohy-ud-dint, A.; Khan, Z.; Ahmad, M.; Kashmiri, M. A. (2010). "Chemotaxonomic value of alkaloids in Solanum nigrum complex". Pakistan Journal of Botany 42 (1): 653–660. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  5. ^ The Plant List
  6. ^ a b c d Tull, D. Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest: A Practical Guide. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-78164-1. 
  7. ^ Al Chami, L.; Mendez, R.; Chataing, B.; O'Callaghan, J.; Usubilliga, A.; Lacruz, L. (2003). "Toxicological effects of α-solamargine in experimental animals" (Citation and abstract only). Phytotherapy Research 17 (3): 254–258. doi:10.1002/ptr.1122. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nellis,D., Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Caribbean, Pineapple Press, 1997
  9. ^ Wildflowers of Tucson - Arizona Poisonous Tucson Plants
  10. ^ a b Zubaida,Y., Azbta,K.S., Syeda,M.A., 2004, Medicinally Important Flora of Dhibbia Karsal Village (Mianwali District Punjab), Asian Journal of Plant Sciences 3(6): pp 757-762 [2]
  11. ^ a b c Edmonds, J. E.; Chweya, J. A. (1997). "Black nightshades, Solanum nigrum L. and related species". International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. p. 66. ISBN 978-92-9043-321-7. 
  12. ^ a b Turner, Nancy J.; Aderka, P.von (2009). The North American guide to common poisonous plants and mushrooms (Online, citation only). Timber Press. pp. 181–182. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Factsheet – *Solanum americanum". Electronic Flora of South Australia. South Australian Government. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Olet, E. A.; Heun, M.; Lye, K. A. (2005). "African crop or poisonous nightshade; the enigma of poisonous or edible black nightshade solved". African Journal of Ecology 43 (2): 158–161. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.2005.00556.x. 
  15. ^ Ali,A.M., Mackeen,M.M., El-Sharkawy,S.H., Abdul Hamid,J., and Ismail,N.H., Ahmad,F., and Lajis,M.N., (1996) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Activities of Some Plants Used in Malaysian Indigenous Medicine. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, 19 (2/3). pp. 129-136. ISSN 0126-6128
  16. ^ Gugulothu,V., Ajmeera,R., Vatsvaya,S.R. (2011) Screening for in vitro antimicrobial activity of Solanum americanum Miller., Journal of Recent Advances in Applied Sciences, 26 pp 43-46.[3]

External links[edit]