Horse Nettle. Solanum carolinense L.

Figure 67.—Horse nettle (Solanum carolinense)

Other Common Names

Sand brier, bull nettle, radical-weed, tread-softly, apple of Sodom.

Habitat And Range

The horse nettle is found in dry, sandy soil from Ontario to Illinois and Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas.


This plant is easily recognized in late summer and fall by its round, smooth, orange-yellow berries about one-half to three-fourths of an inch in diameter which are borne in small drooping clusters. It is an herb 1 to 4 feet high with an erect, branched stem and covered with fine hair. The branches, also the petioles and midveins of the leaves, are armed with straight yellow prickles. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long with rather deep triangular lobes. From May to September the plant produces violet or white flowers about 1 to 1 1/4 inches broad.

Part Used

The ripe berries, carefully dried.