Solanum dulcamara

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet, Bittersweet Nightshade, Bitter Nightshade, Woody Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara

Solanum dulcamara is a perennial, climbing semi-shrub. Its shoots can grow several metres long and are woody at the base.

The flowering period may last from early summer to late autumn. It spreads by seeds and runners. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Solanum dulcamara grows along bushes and fences, along embankments and in woods, young plants can also be found along roadsides.

Bittersweet Nightshade red berries

In urban areas, bittersweet nightshade is not quite as common as its black-fruited relative, black nightshade (Solanum nigrum). It differs not only in its red berries but also in its purple flowers.

Bittersweet nightshade growing in a car park
Bittersweet nightshade growing in a car park.

The natural distribution area is in Europe, North Africa and Asia, where it extends to the Indian subcontinent. As an ornamental plant, it also reached other regions and became native there.

Solanum dulcamara is occasionally planted as an ornamental plant in parks and gardens.

Solana dulcamara by a wayside
Solana dulcamara by the wayside (end of December).
Solanum dulcamara on a wall
Walls can also be useful climbing aids for Solana dulcamara.