Plant Listings

Solanum americanum

Common Names: Ink Berry, Gooma Bush

Family: Solanaceae

Habit: Solanum americanum grows as either a perennial or annual herb to 1 m in height.  The leaves are arranged alternately or oppositely and to 15 cm in length.  The leaves are ovate to lanceolate with an acute leaf apex and entire margin.

The flowers are arranged solitary in axils, umbels, or racemes. The calyx has 5 unfused green sepals.  The corolla has 5 unfused white petals.  There are 5 stamens.  The ovary is superior with 2 locules and numerous seeds. The fruit is a berry that turns black at maturity.

Habitat: Solanum americanum grows in human disturbed habitats, fresh water wetlands and exposed limestone Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation-Woodlands (scrublands)

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Solanum americanum occurs on all island groups in the Bahamian Archipelago as well as the Caribbean region and throughout globe.  It is widespread and considered weedy.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Solanum americanum is used in the Bahamas to treat dermatological problems and respiratory issues.  It is known to be used in the greater Caribbean region to treat general inflammation.  The leaves can be used in salads and has been used as animal fodder.

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