Monday, 03 December 2012 19:30

Woolly Nightshade

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Do you have this plant in your garden? It may be a small plant or it could be a fully grown tree! It is listed on the National Pest Plant Accord and is problem in the northern part of the North Island.

The names this pest plant goes by, are many – woolly nightshade, tobacco weed, flannel weed or kerosene tree. The Latin name is Solanum mauritianum, and it is member of the same plant family as tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums and another pest plant, black nightshade.

It is a rapid growing plant that can produce thousands of seeds, therefore one plant can quickly become many. The quick growth and large number of seeds it produces are only two parts of a larger problem. The ripe yellow fleshy fruit are attractive to birds which then distribute the seeds far and wide. The furry leaves can be an irritant for some people and the berries are moderately toxic. This plant out competes natives and grows happily in urban and rural areas.

The best method is to get them before they fruit, which is around spring and summer. Hand-pull small plants as soon as you see them. For the larger plants and trees there are a number of methods of chemical control that can be used.

For further advice or help on controlling woolly nightshade contact us on our Contact Page.

Read 2482 times Last modified on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:15