T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Solanum laxum (Potato vine)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Solanales
Family:      Solanaceae
Genus:      Solanum
Species:     S. laxum
Binomial name: Solanum laxum
Synonyms: Solanum jasminoides, Solanum boerhaaviifolium, Solanum boerhaviaefolium
Common names: Potato vine, Potato climber, Jasmine nightshade.

Solanum laxum is a scrambling, sprawling, high-climbing, evergreen usually hairless vine with stems up to 15 m long. It is native to South America and is commonly grown as an ornamental garden plant.
Its alternate ovate or ovate-lanceolate leaves are often lobed and are up 30 to 50 mm long and 15 to 25 mm wide.
In the spring but also sporadically at other times of the year it produces star-shaped, white or pale blue flowers (20-33 mm diameter) with a central yellow cone. These are usually in small branched clusters of around 20.
Flowers are star-shaped, white or pale mauve with central yellow cone, 20-33 mm diameter,
These are followed by rounded, shining, dark blue or black berries (4-6 mm diameter) that are around 8 mm in diameter. These seeds are dispersed by birds. This vines reproduction is by seed and vegetatively.
This escapee vine is listed by the Department of Conservation and several local authorities as a weed.

 
A hedge completey smothered with Solanum laxum.



Notice the yellow praying mantis.
 





Top surface of a leaf.


The underside of a leaf.