tropane alkaloids nitrates
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
  • flower color
woodlands, fields, gardens, roadsides, pastures, haybales

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Nightshades distribution - United States

Related Species


Solanum spp

Black Nightshade, European Bittersweet, Climbing Nightshade, Dogwood, Felonwood, Poison Berry, Scarlet Berry, Carolina Horsenettle
6/ 10
Solanum spp also known as nightshades include over 70 different species of flowering plants. These plants contain a large variety of different toxic alkaloids.
Nightshades range from weedy shrubs to small trees. The flowers are five-lobed and are white or purple flowers which form fleshy green berries or fruits which turn yellow or black once matured. The leaves or alternate or opposite, hairy or smooth, and some have prominent spines.

Most horses will not eat nightshade plants unless they are very hungry with no other feed source present. It can however often be found in baled hay, which increases the chances of horses consuming it. Nightshades are still toxic, even in dried form. Nightshades cause gastrointestional tract problems and can affect the horse's central nervous system.

Toxicity is highest in green berries, followed by red or black berries, leaves, stems and roots. It is estimated that one to ten pounds of ingested plant material is fatal for horses.


  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Loss Of Muscular Coordination
  • Apparent Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Sudden Depression


CHEMICAL CONTROL: Metsulfuron methyl (Cimarron®) at 0.1 to 1 oz plus either 2,4-D or dicamba (Banvel®, Clarity®, Oracle®, Sterling®). Can be suppressed or controlled if triclopyr + 2,4-D (Crossbow®) is applied at 4 qts/A or applied with a handheld, high-volume applicator at 1.5% v/v mix with water.

MECHANICAL CONTROL: Can be hand-pulled but requires the removal of all stems to prevent resprouting.