Weed Seed: Solanum carolinense (Horse nettle)
Primary Noxious, Class 2 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.
Canadian: Occurs in ON and QC (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).
Worldwide: Native to eastern North America, from Ontario to northern Mexico, and introduced in Japan and India (Bassett and Munro 1986Footnote 2, USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 3).
Duration of Life Cycle
Seed or Fruit Type
- Seed length: 1.7 - 3.5 mm
- Seed width: 1.4 - 2.1 mm
- Seed thickness: 0.2 mm
- Oval shaped seed, flattened
- Faint pattern of wavy-edged cells on seed surface can be seen under magnification
- Seed yellow to orange
- Hilum is a slit along the narrow edge of seed and is 0.5 mm long
Habitat and Crop Association
Cultivated fields, pastures, gardens, nurseries, riverbanks, roadsides and disturbed areas (Bassett and Munro 1986Footnote 2, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 4). Most frequently found in corn and grain fields, and to a lesser extent in pastures, alfalfa, potatoes, soybeans and tomatoes (Bassett and Munro 1986Footnote 2).
Horse nettle may produce up to 5000 seeds per plant. The seeds are apparently spread through livestock manure and the berries and horizontal roots are spread as a result of harvesting operations (Bassett and Munro 1986Footnote 2, CABI 2016Footnote 5).
Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium)
- Silverleaf nightshade seeds are a similar flattened oval shape, and smooth surface as horse nettle seeds.
- Silverleaf nightshade seeds (length: 3.0 - 4.0 mm; width: 2.3 - 3.5 mm) are generally larger than horse nettle seeds, brown coloured and the surface pattern is long, wavy lines around the outside of the seed.
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