Invasive Specieswoody nightshade

Solanum dulcamara
FOUND by alpaca2018
ID Questioned
Quality checked by Llama
Peer reviewed by Gharial Shark
Field Notes
I am happy to do this project because we get to learn outdoors, rather than reading about topics in a science book. Our group ran into the problem of finding the invasive specimen, due to mass amounts of vegetation in the area. I'm also dumbfounded to know that people BUY invasive species as decoration. They should know that that plant, without constant care, will kill out other species! As for what I see, hear and smell, I can see lots of undergrowth, I can hear cars and other city noises, and I can smell grapes, for there is a cluster of purple grape vines nearby. We're certain this isn't deadly nightshade because it's berries are not ripened to black and there are no flowers on the plant, so this is why were certain it is Solanum dulcamara.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
When we were looking at the leaves to identify the Solanum Dulcamara, I noticed that the leaves were small, about an inch in height. They were arrow shaped and had serrated sides. The plant itself was on top of the other bush/tree, like it was trying to suffocate it and take it’s spot.
Photo of my evidence.
My second evidence of proof that this is the Woody Nightshade is that the plant is speckled with tomato-red berries the size of a baby grapes. They have a smooth outer shell, and the unripe ones are in large clusters in a light-green shade.
Photo of my evidence.
Our final piece of evidence is referring to the stems. The base of the plant is a thick, brown wood like a baby tree. But as it climbs up, the stems become more attenuated and greener, and more flexible. You can bend them fairly far without snapping the species in half.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Solanum dulcamara
Common name:
woody nightshade
Count of individuals: 
3/4 - Completely covered
Fruit (plants)
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (user-placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 44.810678 °
W -68.755561 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
Cohen School grounds
Trip date: 
Wed, 2018-09-12 09:48
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Habitat Observations
Species diversity: 
Evidence of vectors: 
Paved road
Tree canopy cover: 
Soil moisture: 


We agree, thanks! I have a question though. How far north did the invasive species go? Are they into Canada? When did the invasive species arrive? Thank you for getting back to us!


Great questions-- and I don't have all of the answers. A good resource for invasive plant information is the invasive plant atlas:

You can get information on where in the United States it has been found. Let me know what you find!


Hi alpaca2018,

That is a beautiful sketch of solanum dulcamara. Your second and third photos make me think that you probably did find woody nightshade, and you have strong written evidence. The first photo, however is not the same plant. Solanum dulcamara has a distinctive leaf shape--look for lobes at the base of the leaves like small ears. Good work, and keep observing!