Solanum americanum

Solanum americanum Mill.

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 complete, perfect, actinomorphic 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 Altered environments, Fresh Water Wetlands and exposed limestone Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation-Woodlands (scrublands).

Distribution: Solanum americanum occurs on all island groups in the Lucayan 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 Lucayan Archipelago 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.