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Silverleaf Nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium, Origin, Distribution, and Relation to Man

J. W. Boyd, D. S. Murray and R. J. Tyrl
Economic Botany
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1984), pp. 210-217
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4254610
Page Count: 8
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Silverleaf Nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium, Origin, Distribution, and Relation to Man
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Abstract

Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is a perennial weed that has become increasingly troublesome over the past several decades. Extensive use of soil-applied herbicides, accompanied by a reduction in annual weed competition and reduced tillage, have contributed to its spread and establishment as a serious pest. Crop plants are affected directly via competition and allelopathy or indirectly as the nightshade plants serve as hosts for destructive phytophagous insects or fungal pathogens. Probably native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, S. elaeagnifolium is now found in many semiarid regions of the world. Plants were used by the Pima, Kiowa and Navajo Indians in the preparation of food and in the tanning of leather. Containing the toxic glycoalkaloids solanine and solasonine, plants can cause livestock poisonings. The fruits, however, are a source of solasodine, which is used in the commercial manufacture of steroidal hormones.

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