Horse Nettle

One of Missouri’s commonest wildflowers (aka, “obnoxious weeds”) is the Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense):

Horse Nettle wildflower

Horse Nettle wildflower

Horse Nettle wildflower

Horse Nettle blooms in elongated clusters, with flowers ranging from white to purple. The 5 united petals form a 5-point star, with yellow stamens protruding. The leaves do not have bristles, but yellow prickles on the stems and midribs of the leaves. Fruit of the Horse Nettle are smooth, yellow berries that look like a miniature tomato. These fruits are considered toxic and persist through the winter. In Missouri, this plant resides in waste places, rights-of-ways, fields and along roadways, and is found statewide.

As a gardener, I am one of many who seem to continuously be fighting to rid this plant from our gardens. Horse nettle can be somewhat difficult to control as it spreads by both seeds and underground rhizomes. Native Americans had medicinal use for horse nettle, but all parts of the plant are toxic if eaten.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens plus Canon 1.4x TC
  • Bogen 3221 Tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/5 and f/11 (top photo only)
  • Shutter 1/320 second to¬† 1/500 second and 1/25 second (top photo only)



Posted in Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers
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