Solanum physalifolium

8. Solanum physalifolium Rusby (S-Am.) – A rare but increasing, recently naturalised alien. First recorded on a dump in Mechelen (Zavelberg and Galgenberg) in 1942 and subsequently regularly confirmed until 1952. Recorded as a wool alien in the Vesdre valley in 1947 and 1948. From the 1950’s onwards occasionally seen on dumps, especially around Antwerpen and Turnhout. Discovered in the port of Gent in 1983 (Robbrecht & Jongepier 1986) and now more or less widely naturalised and fast spreading in this area. Also well established in ruderalised coastal dunes near Knokke (present at least since 1954 but initially confused with Solanum villosum). Furthermore regularly observed at widely scattered locations (Balen, Drogenbos, Mons,…) but probably most of the time ephemeral or only temporarily persistent (although apparently naturalised populations were recently also observed in, e.g., La Louvière). Doubtlessly insufficiently known and probably overlooked in Belgium.

All European records of Solanum physalifolium belong to var. nitidibaccatum (Bitter) Edmonds (syn.: S. nitidibaccatum Bitter). Genuine S. physalifolium has not been recorded in Europe (Särkinen & al. 2018).

Solanum physalifolium, Gent, port area, railway tracks, September 2010, W. Vercruysse.Solanum physalifolium, Knokke, nature reserve Zwin, ruderal sandy area, August 2010, W. Vercruysse.

Herbarium specimen


Selected literature:

Adolphi K. (1978) Neue Bemerkungen zu Solanum nitidibaccatum. Gött. Flor. Rundbr. 12: 105-106.

Böhme F., Herz E. & Heino J. (2007) Aktuelle Funde von Solanum-Arten in Sachsen-Anhalt. Mitt. Florist. Kart. Sachsen-Anhalt 12: 53-60.

Edmonds J.M. (1986) Biosystematics of Solanum sarrachoides Sendtner and S. physalifolium Rusby (S. nitidibaccatum Bitter). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 92: 1-38.

Grøstad T., Halvorsen R. & Ruden Ø. (2015) Store forekomster av fysalissøtvier Solanum physalifolium funnet i Brunlanes, Larvik kommune i Vestfold. Blyttia 73(1): 65-67.

Haeupler H. (1975) Solanum nitidibaccatum Bitter und Solanum sarachoides Sendtner em. Bitter, zwei gut unterscheidbare Nachtschattenarten aus der Sektion Solanum (= Maurella). Gött. Flor. Rundbr. 8: 98-105.

Robbrecht E. & Jongepier J.-W. (1986) Floristische waarnemingen in de kanaalzone Gent-Terneuzen (België, Oost-Vlaanderen & Nederland, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen), vooral van 1981 tot 1985. Dumortiera 36: 6-21.

Robbrecht E. & Jongepier J.-W. (1989) De synantrope flora van het havengebied van Gent (België, Oost-Vlaanderen), waarnemingen van 1986 tot 1988. Dumortiera 44: 1-12.

Robbrecht E. & Lambinon J. (1987) Deux adventices souvent confondues, Solanum sacharoides Sendtner et S. nitidibaccatum Bitter, en Belgique. Dumortiera 37: 6-8.

Särkinen T., Poczai P., Barboza G.E., van der Weerden G.M., Baden M. & Knapp S. (2018) A revision of the Old World Black Nightshades (Morelloid clade of Solanum L., Solanaceae). PhytoKeys 106: 1–223. [available online at:]

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Verloove F. (2006) Catalogue of neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005). Scripta Botanica Belgica 39: 89 p.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith