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Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Annual Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)

General: Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum) is a nasty, spiny weed that does not belong in the Mojave Desert. It is recognized by the yellow, or yellow and white, flowers that have fused petals and the deeply lobed leaves, In addition there are five stamens, but four are short and straight, and one is long and curved.

Buffalobur Nightshade is a common weed in the Midwestern US and in coastal and central valleys of California; it is not expected in the Mojave Desert.

Keep an eye out for this species. If hikers and other visitors to the native habitats around Las Vegas see this species, please report the observation to the Nevada Department of Agriculture using their online form. Link to Weeds Around Las Vegas.

Family: Nightshade (Solanaceae).

Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)

Other Names: Androcera rostrata, Solanum cornutum, Colorado bur, Kansas thistle, Mexican thistle, Texas thistle, buffalobur.

Plant Form: Upright annual.

Height: Grows to about 2-feet high.

Stems: Green, covered in long spines.

Leaves: 5-15 cm; simple, petioled; deeply lobed (more than half-way to the midrib).

Flowers: Blooms spring to fall. Inflorescence raceme-like. Flowers yellow (or yellow and white), about 1-inch across. Anthers: yellow, 4 short and straight, 1 long and curved, open at the tip. Style curved. Calyx encloses fruit, spiny.

Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)

Seeds: Fruit: berry-like capsule. Seeds small, black.

Habitat: Widespread in the west, but not the deserts. Prefers sandy soils, but grows on many soil types in disturbed areas and prairies. Drought tolerant.

Elevation: To about 1,500 feet, but found at 4,000 feet near Searchlight, Nevada.

Distribution: Across the US and south into Mexico. Native to the Great Plains region.

Comments: This species is listed as a noxious weed in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Flower
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Leaves deeply lobed
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Leaves deeply lobed, petiole with spines and aphids
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Back of leaf with spines and aphids
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Stems green with spines
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Spiny calyx enclosing green, berry-like fruit
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
Spiny calyx enclosing green, berry-like fruit
Buffalobur Nightshade (Solanum rostratum)
This specimen was removed from a garden near Searchlight, Nevada

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 141117

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