Solanum dulcamara - L.
Climbing Nightshade
Other Common Names: climbing nightshade
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Solanum dulcamara L. (TSN 30414)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144589
Element Code: PDSOL0Z0M0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Potato Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Solanales Solanaceae Solanum
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Solanum dulcamara
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (17Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States California (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Minnesota (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Montana (SNA), Nebraska (SNA), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (SNA), Virginia (SNA), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNR), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (SNA), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CAexotic, COexotic, CTexotic, DCexotic, DEexotic, GA, IAexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, INexotic, KSexotic, KYexotic, MA, MDexotic, MEexotic, MIexotic, MNexotic, MOexotic, MTexotic, NCexotic, NDexotic, NEexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NVexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, SDexotic, TNexotic, UTexotic, VAexotic, VTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WVexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BC, MBexotic, NBexotic, NFexotic, NSexotic, ONexotic, PEexotic, QCexotic, SKexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Solanum dulcamara has naturalized throughout most of the US with the exception of a few southern states. It appears to be most problematic in Michigan and Wisconsin, where it has established substantially in relatively natural habitats (e.g. forests, swamps, bogs). In New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the northwest, the species' local abundance is also high and there appears to be some limited establishment in natural areas. Although a majority of populations are found in disturbed areas, the full range of invaded habitats is quite large and includes open riparian areas, forested riparian areas, woodlands and forests, grasslands and open disturbed areas, partially open upland habitats, marshes and wet meadows, wet thickets, swamp forests, bogs, cliffs, and dunes. This species is a vine, and its most important impact on natural communities appears to be an occasional tendency to climb up and over adjacent vegetation, causing changes in community structure and, to a lesser extent, composition. It reproduces by both seeds and by rooting at prostrate nodes. Seeds are dispersed by birds and through the limited continuing horticultural use of this species. Management by cultivation, repeated cutting, and/or herbicide requires little effort.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Low/Insignificant
I-Rank Review Date: 21Apr2006
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to a large area of Eurasia and northern Africa. European countries where considered native include Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian Federation (European part), Ukraine (incl. Krym), Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, Portugal, and Spain. Asian countries where native include Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian Federation (Ciscaucasia, Dagestan, Western Siberia), Turkmenistan, China (sw Sichuan, nw Yunnan), northern India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Northern African countries where native include Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia (USDA ARS 2005).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Invaded habitats include open riparian areas (including river banks, pond shores, and lake shores), forested riparian areas, woodlands and forests, grasslands and open disturbed areas (including meadows, fields, pastures, waste areas, parks, and gardens), partially open upland habitats (including forest edges, old fields, fencerows, roadsides, and railroad right-of-ways), marshes and wet meadows, wet thickets (e.g. alder thickets), swamp forests (both conifers and hardwoods), bogs, cliffs, and dunes (Abrams 1951, Muenscher 1955, Hitchcock et al. 1959, Peck 1961, Strausbaugh and Core 1978, Cronquist et al. 1984, Pegtel 1985, Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Kartesz 1988, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Hickman 1993, Cooperrider 1995, Voss 1996, Rhoads and Block 2000, Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Welsh et al. 2003, Hilty 2006, Tenaglia 2006, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: This species was naturalized in the US by at least 1860 (Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006). Despite being present for over 140 years, no reports of impacts on ecosystem processes or system-wide parameters were found. However, it can become very abundant where established (Samodien et al. 1999) and has been found growing in streams (Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006), so there is the potential for colonies to impede water flow in some areas.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: A vine which can climb up and over adjacent herbs and shrubs, sometimes reducing their abundance (Samodien et al. 1999, Mehrhoff et al. 2003). In some areas, this may replace the existing layer with a layer of S. dulcamara vines. However, it also often grows prostrate along the ground, in which case its impacts on community structure are less significant (Buchholtz et al. 1960, Hilty 2006).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: A vine which can climb up and over adjacent herbs and shrubs, sometimes reducing their abundance (Samodien et al. 1999, Mehrhoff et al. 2003).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts on particular native species found in the literature; assumption is that any impacts are not significant.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: In at least Michigan and Wisconsin, appears to occasionally invade relatively intact upland and wetland forests (Voss 1996, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006). However, in general, the plant prefers disturbed areas, and most populations are found there (Hilty 2006).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Established throughout most of the United States, with the exception of only South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona (Kartesz 1999). Most densely established in the northeast (both New England and mid-Atlantic), Great Lakes, and northwestern states; establishment is sparse and scattered in the southeast, Great Plains, and southwest states (NRCS 2006).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: Appears to be most problematic in Michigan and Wisconsin, where it has established substantially in relatively natural habitats (forests, swamps, bogs, etc.) (Voss 1996, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006, Swearingen 2006). In New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the northwest, the species' local abundance is also high and there appears to be some limited establishment in relatively natural areas (Hitchcock et al. 1959, Peck 1961, Hickman 1993, Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Rhoads and Block 2000, Swearingen 2006). In the southeast, Great Plains, and southwest, establishment is more scattered and impacts appear minimal.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Approximately 35-40 ecoregions are invaded, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:High significance
Comments: Grows in a wide range of light environments, from full sun to shade, as well as in a range of soil moisture conditions, from relatively dry to waterlogged soils (although moist to mesic soil is preferred) (Plants for a Future 2001, Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Hilty 2006, Cardina et al. no date). Although a majority of populations are found in disturbed areas, the full range of invaded habitats is quite large (especially in the Great Lakes states and mid-Atlantic). Invaded habitats include open riparian areas (including river banks, pond shores, and lake shores), forested riparian areas, woodlands and forests, grasslands and open disturbed areas (including meadows, fields, pastures, waste areas, parks, and gardens), partially open upland habitats (including forest edges, old fields, fencerows, roadsides, and railroad right-of-ways), marshes and wet meadows, wet thickets (e.g. alder thickets), swamp forests (both conifers and hardwoods), bogs, cliffs, and dunes (Abrams 1951, Muenscher 1955, Hitchcock et al. 1959, Peck 1961, Strausbaugh and Core 1978, Cronquist et al. 1984, Pegtel 1985, Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Kartesz 1988, Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Hickman 1993, Cooperrider 1995, Voss 1996, Rhoads and Block 2000, Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Welsh et al. 2003, Hilty 2006, Tenaglia 2006, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Naturalized in the US since at least 1860 (Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006) and was becoming widespread in both New England and the Great Lakes states by the late 1800s (Voss 1996, Mehrhoff et al. 2003). Appears to be spreading somewhat in the northwest (Abrams 1951, King County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: Whitinger (2006) lists its USDA hardiness zones as 4a - 8b, so there is presumably still some potential for southward spread (e.g. into Arkansas).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Berries are frequently transported long distances by birds (Samodien et al. 1999, Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Hilty 2006). In addition, it is still grown as an ornamental (King County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005) and has limited availability over the internet (Whitinger 2006).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Low significance
Comments: Appears to be increasing in abundance in the northwest (Abrams 1951, King County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Shade-tolerant, which allows it to invade relatively undisturbed forest habitats (Mehrhoff et al. 2003, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2006). Does not appear to have much success invading established grassland vegetation, however (Egler 1983). In general, the plant prefers disturbed areas, and most populations are found there (Hilty 2006).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Also naturalized in at least Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Kartesz 1999, Randall 2002); appears to have invaded largely similar habitats in those areas (Scoggan 1978, Webb et al. 1988, Munro 2006).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Reproduces primarily by seed, but also be rooting of prostrate stems (Buchholtz et al. 1960, Mehrhoff et al. 2003). Small pieces of rhizome in the soil can regenerate new plants, which can make eradication difficult (King County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005, Hilty 2006).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Low/Insignificant

17. General Management Difficulty:Low significance
Comments: If the land can be plowed, this generally allows relatively easy and cost-effective control (Drew and Helm 1941, Muenscher 1955, Cardina et al. no date). If land the land cannot be plowed, either frequent close cutting or herbicide application can be employed (Drew and Helm 1941, Muenscher 1955, King County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005). Cutting needs to be repeated a number of times to overcome the plant's re-sprouting ability (King County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Cultivation should achieve effective control in less than 2 years, but if this is not possible, a longer time investment may be required. The species does not appear to form a long-term persistent seed bank (Peat and Fitter 2006).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Cultivation may have relatively significant impacts on native species. However, if plants are significantly interspersed with native species, choosing the frequent close cutting method may reduce impact.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: This species still has some horticultural use, so it is likely that some populations will be on privately-owned lands.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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