This family of plants is widely spread all over the country, often in places where the soil has been disturbed.
General: These plants belong to the potato family. They can be perennial or annual, climbers or shrubs of less than 1 m in height, although some species may grow up to 6 m. Some species are spiny, while others are without spines.
Leaves: Leaves can be entire, lobed or divided. The leaves of some species are whiter underneath than above.
Flowers: Mostly in clusters, generally blue, white or yellow.Yellow upright stamens.
Fruit: The ripe fruits (berries) are often yellow and shiny, although some species have red fruits.
The unripe fruits are usually most toxic. The active principle is solanine, a bitter glycoalkaloid, and related glycoalkaloids. Hydrolysis results in a less toxic genin, solanidine.
Gastro-intestinal and Central nervous systems.
The species cause stock poisoning, particularly in calves and goats.
The symptoms are
• increased heart rate,
• shallow breathing,
• cramps and even
Solanum kwebense causes CNS malfunction - see CNS index.
Catarrhal enteritis. Fruit and/or seeds may be present in the intestinal contents. Fluid accumulation in body cavities.
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG, 72 ppi. Photo 1: 41.2 kb; Photo 2: 53.6 kb; Photo 3: 9.12 kb; Photo 4: 17 kb; Photo 5: 28 kb; Photo 6: 38 kb; Photo 7: 53.2 kb; Photo 8: 17.7 kb. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.