EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 03 - 2006 Num. article: 2006/075

Geographical distribution of Solanum elaeagnifolium: an update

In EPPO RS 2006/018, a preliminary geographical distribution of Solanum elaeagnifolium (EPPO List of Invasive Alien plants) was given. The EPPO Secretariat requested more information from its readers who have kindly provided the following new records or detailed information.

An assessment of the situation regarding this species and options for managing it will be presented during the EPPO and FAO/Sub-regional Office for North Africa Workshop on “How to manage Invasive Alien Plants: the case study of Solanum elaeagnifolium”. This workshop is organized with the cooperation of the NPPO of Tunisia and the Horticulture and Breeding School of Chott Meriem. It will take place in Sousse (Tunisia) on 2006-05-29/31; a field trip will give an opportunity for participants to observe the species discussed. Registration is open until 2006-04-15 at: http://www.eppo.org/MEETINGS/conferences/workshop_solanum.htm

  • EPPO Region

North Side of the Mediterranean Sea

The plant has been probably introduced as an ornamental. It then escaped and locally naturalized on waste ground and roadsides around Nicosia, where it was first collected in 1958 (Meikle RD, 1977-1985).

According to the Database Nobanis (http://www.nobanis.org/), the plant was first recorded in Denmark in 1960. It is rare and not invasive, Hans Peter (pers. com., 2006) reports that the plant is not even naturalized.

According to Zahariadi (1973), the first specimen was collected in Greece in 1949 and the species has since spread to several places: Rhodopi, Thessaloniki, Elasson, Tirnavos, between Agrinion and Amfilokhia, Attiki, Leonidion, Kalamata, Ipiroas and Kriti. Yannitsaros and Economidou (1974) report that one of the first localities into which it was introduced, probably directly from America, is the American Agricultural School near Thessaloniki. Its presence in the area between Agrinion and Amfilokhia is probably connected with introduced tobacco seeds. The plant is also supposed to have been introduced in to the “Botanical Garden of Julia and Alexander Diomidis” at Dafni, Attiki, where a forest tree nursery had previously been established. S. elaeagnifolium has a particular pattern of spread. From the first point of introduction and establishment, the plant is spreading in all directions. Its spread is not continuous but occurs in leaps.
Davis (1965-1985) records it in Lesvos, the Northern Sporades and the Ionian Islands. It is also recorded in Greece by Boyd et al., (1984), Browicz (1993) and Eleftherohorinos et al. (1993).

S. elaeagnifolium is present in Italy (mainly central to south Italy), including Sicilia and Sardinia. In Sardinia it is locally common in the very south of the island, mainly along roadsides (Brundu, pers. com.). The species is reported in Sicilia as S. elaeagnifolium var. leprosum (Martino 1956, 1967) and in mainland Italy (Boyd et al., 1984).

In the Herbarium Parisensis, S. elaeagnifolium was collected in July 1953 “on a roadside, near the glacier du Rhône (Suisse)” by Henri Bouby.

South Side of the Mediterranean Sea

The plant is apparently widespread throughout the whole country (Database of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden). Feinbrun-Dothan (1977-1978) states that S. elaeagnifolium grows near habitations and is present in the Acco Plain, in the Sharon Plain, in upper and lower Galilee, in Mont Carmel, in the Esdraelon Plain, in Shefela, in the Judean Mounts, in north Negev, in the upper Jordan Valley and in the Beit Shean Valley.

  • Asia

The plant is recorded in Karachi (Flora of Pakistan).


Boyd JW, Murray DS, Tyrl RJ (1984) Silverleaf nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium, origin, distribution and relation to man. Economic Botany, 38(2), 210-217.
Browicz K (1993) Nicotiana glauca and Solanum elaeagnifolium (Solanaceae) - two xenophytes from South America and the history of their spreading in the eastern Mediterranean. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica, (Supplement 2, 1), 299-305.
Davis PH (editor) (1965-1985) Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. Vol.1-9, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
Eleftherohorinos IG, Bell CE, Kotoula-Syka E (1993) Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) control with foliar herbicides. Weed Technology, 7(4), 808-811.
Feinbrun-Dothan N. (1977-1978) Flora Palestina. Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, Jerusalem. Several volumes.
Flora of Pakistan, n°100. Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Pakistan and National Herbarium (Stewart Collection), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Martino, A di (1956) Una stazione di “Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. var. leprosum” in Sicilia. Lav. Reale Ist. Bot. Palermo 15, 114-120.
Meikle RD (1977-1985) Flora of Cyprus. 2 Volumes. Bentham-Moxon Trust Publishers, Kew, England. Several volumes.
The Jerusalem Botanical Garden Homepage: http://www.botanic.co.il
Yannitsaros A, Economidou E (1974) Studies on the adventive flora of Greece – I. General remarks on some recently introduced taxa. Candollea 29, 111-119.
Zahariadi C (1973) Quelques taxons rares ou nouvellement découverts de la flore de Grèce. Annales Musei Goulandris 1, 165-183.