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Carolina Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense L.)

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Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Native or Expanded
Expanded or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

This species is widely-accepted to be native to the southeast to south-central US, but also to have expanded its range; however, the exact extent of its native range is not known and there was extensive disagreement in different sources we consulted. Go Botany considers this species introduced anywhere from Maryland and Delaware northeast, whereas POWO lists it as native everywhere but Colorado. This species has also expanded into Canada, and also occurs in Mexico, where it may or may not be native; we have yet to build either of these portions of its map.


Requires ample direct sunlight and exposed conditions; not able to survive competition from other plants. Tolerates a range of moisture conditions from wet to dry. Benefits from sporadic mowing, but not able to survive the regular mowing in lawns.

Found mostly on disturbed ground in the east, including roadsides, flowerbeds, and vacant lots; farther west, also found in some natural prairie ecosystems.

Life Cycle

A perennial spreading by rhizomes, but often short-lived, especially in the absence of disturbance.

Faunal Associations

The flowers are visited by bumblebees.

This is the preferred host plant for both larvae and adults of the false potato beetle (Leptinotarsa juncta).

Solanum carolinense (Horse Nettle) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense (Carolina Horsenettle) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense | Go Botany (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense (horsenettle) | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense | Missouri Plants (About This Site)

Carolina Horsenettle | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Solanum carolinense (Horse Nettle) | Minnesota Wildflowers (About This Site)

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