WSU Extension


Annual bluegrass 
Bentgrass, creeping 
Birdfoot Trefoil 
Bittercress (Shotweed, Hairy bittercress) 
Bittersweet nightshade (European bittersweet) 
Black medic 
Blackberry (Himalayan, Evergreen, Pacific) 
Blue mustard (Purple mustard, Tenella mustard) 
Brackenfern, western 
Bull thistle 
Buttercup, creeping 
Butterfly bush 
Canada thistle 
Catchweed bedstraw (Cleavers) 
Catsear, common (False dandelion) 
Chickweed, common and mouseear 
Creeping Jenny 
Dock (Curly, Broadleaf) 
Downy brome (Cheatgrass, Downy chess) 
Dwarf mistletoes 
English daisy (Lawn daisy) 
English ivy 
Field bindweed (Wild morningglory) 
Field pennycress (Fanweed) 
Foxtail (Green, Yellow, Bristly) 
Garden loosestrife 
Giant hogweed 
Ground ivy 
Groundsel, common 
Hedge bindweed 
Herb Robert (Robert geranium, stinky Bob) 
Horsetails (Scouringrush) 
Horseweed (Marestail) 
Knotweeds (Bohemian, Giant, Japanese, Himalayan) 
Lambsquarters, common 
Lesser celandine 
Mallow, common (Cheeseweed, Buttonweed) 
Oxalis (Creeping woodsorrel) 
Parrotfeather and Eurasian watermilfoil 
Plantain (Broadleaf, Buckhorn) 
Poison hemlock 
Poison ivy and Poison oak 
Prickly lettuce (China lettuce) 
Prostrate knotweed 
Puncturevine (Tackweed, Goathead) 
Purple deadnettle (Red deadnettle) 
Purple loosestrife (Purple lythrum) 
Purslane, common 
Red sorrel (Sheep sorrel) 
Redroot pigweed (Rough pigweed) 
Redstem filaree (Stork's bill, Crane's bill) 
Reed canarygrass 
Russian thistle (Tumbleweed) 
Ryegrass, annual (Italian ryegrass) 
Salsify (Goatsbeard) 
Scotch broom 
Sowthistle, annual and perennial 
Spurges (Prostrate spurges) 
St. Johnswort, common (Goatweed, Klamathweed) 
Stinging nettle 
Tansy ragwort 
Tumblemustard (Jim Hill mustard) 
Velvetgrass (Common velvetgrass) 
Water primrose 
Waterhemlock, western 
Wild carrot (Queen Anne's lace) 
Yellow nutsedge 

print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Bittersweet nightshade fruits
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Weeds : Bittersweet nightshade (European bittersweet) : Solanum dulcamara
(revision date: 4/5/2016)

Family: Solanaceae
Cycle: Perennial
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Bittersweet nightshade is a trailing to climbing, viny plant with stems reaching up to ten feet. The dark green leaves are alternate on the slender stems, which are often woody at the base. Lower leaves are somewhat heart-shaped, while the upper leaves have distinct, separate lobes at the base. Stems and leaves may be somewhat purplish and have an unpleasant odor. Flowers are borne in loose clusters in the leaf axils. The star-shaped blossoms are purple with bright yellow anthers in the center. They resemble tomato and potato blossoms. The fruit is a small oval to round berry. The berries are green (unripe) to bright red (ripe) in color and contain yellowish seeds. This species does not persist in cultivated areas. SPECIAL INFORMATION: All parts of the plant are toxic. The bright red berries are especially attractive to children and can be toxic if eaten in sufficient quantities.
Bitter nightshade prefers rich, moist soils and is found in waste places, along fencerows, ditch banks, ornamental plantings, and other uncultivated sites. It is not usually a problem in maintained lawn and turfgrass.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Mowing to prevent seed production is a very effective means of management. In lawns, mowing regularly at the proper height for the grass species may help minimize weed growth and invasion.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label directions. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
Turf areas
    Bare ground areas
    • glyphosate

    + Show larger images

    Caption: Bittersweet nightshade fruits
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Bittersweet nightshade leaves and flowers
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Bittersweet nightshade flowers
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Bittersweet nightshade fruit
    Photo by: T.W. Miller
    Caption: Bittersweet nightshade leaves and fruit
    Photo by: D.G. Swan
    Caption: Bittersweet nightshade leaves
    Photo by: J.A. Kropf