Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Solanum heterodoxum, Melon Leaf Nightshade

Melon Leaf Nightshade has purple, violet or blue flowers. Note anthers in 2 sizes; styles slender and longer than the anthers. Solanum heterodoxum Melon Leaf Nightshade has light green deeply dissected leaves. Leaves and stems covered with straw colored long sharp prickles. Solanum heterodoxum Melon Leaf Nightshade is a dramatic looking plant with broadly ovate to deltoid, deeply dissected pinnatified leaves. Not long straw-colored prickles on leaves and stems. Solanum heterodoxum Melon Leaf Nightshade is a native annual nightshade that blooms from June to October and grows between 2,000 to 5,500 feet in elevation. Solanum heterodoxum

Scientific Name: Solanum heterodoxum
Common Name: Melon Leaf Nightshade
Also Called: Melon-leaf Nightshade, Melonleaf Nightshade
Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade or Potato Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 2 feet more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; plant pubescent, heavily armed with relatively long sharp straw colored prickles.
Leaves: Green; alternate; leaf segments broadly ovate to obovate or deltoid, deeply dissected, pinnatifid or twice-pinnatifid.
Flower Color: Violet to blue; flowers somewhat zygomorphic; calyx campanulate; corolla with stellate hairs; stamens not equal in length; anthers oblong and in 2 sizes, lower-most longer, purple-tinged, curved in at the tip, the upper anthers shorter and yellow; styles slender and longer than the anthers; fruit a berry.
Flowering Season: June to October.
Elevation: 2,000 to 5,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Roadsides, silty, sandy or gravelly soils of dunes, streambeds, washes, and open hillsides.

Recorded Range: Solanum heterodoxum is found within the southwest United States (AZ, CA, NM, TX) and in CO, ID, IL. It is also native to central and northern Mexico. In Arizona it is found mainly in Cochise, Maricopa and Yavapai counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Solanum heterodoxum.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: In North America Solanum xanti is

Genus Information: In North America there are 104 species and 131 accepted taxa overall for Solanum. World wide, The Plant List includes 1,199 accepted species names and includes a further 454 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona there are 18 species of Solanum, in California there are 30 species, Nevada has 8 species, New Mexico has 16 species, Texas has 27 species, Utah has 11 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 3 varieties in Solanum heterodoxum;
Solanum heterodoxum var. heterodoxum, Melonleaf Nightshade (NM, IL);
Solanum heterodoxum var. novomexicanum, New Mexican Nightshade (NM);
Solanum heterodoxum var. setigeroides, Melonleaf Nightshade (AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, TX).

Comments: In Southwest Desert Flora also see: American Black Nightshade, Solanum americanum, Silverleaf Nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium, Fendler's Horsenettle, Solanum fendleri, Hinds Nightshade, Solanum hindsianum, Buffalobur Nightshade, Solanum rostratum and Purple Nightshade, Solanum xanti.

Date Profile Completed: 09/13/2016, updated format 10/06/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/10/2016)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/10/2016).
Bates, Scott T., Farruggia, Frank, Gilbert, Edward, Gutierrez, Raul, Jenke, Darin, Makings, Elizabeth, Manton, Erin, Newton, Douglas and Landrum, Leslie R. Solanaceae, Part Two, Key to the genera and Solanum. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science and Canotia
Kleiman, Russ, Dr., Associate Botanist, Dale A. Zimmerman Herbarium; Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness; Solanum heterodoxum; (accessed 09/13/2016) Presented in Association with the Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 09/12/2016).