Solanum sisymbriifolium is a spiny species and grows in a variety of habitats including the Chaco biome of South America.
It has very prickly, sticky leaves, white flowers and bright red slightly sticky fruits. Its name refers to the divided leaves, which resemble those of a mustard genus called Sisymbrium.
Solanum sisymbriifolium has been grown in European botanical gardens as a curiosity since the 18th century.
It has been used as a trap crop in the UK to control potato cyst nematode, a serious disease of cultivated potatoes.
The broad species definition we currently use for Solanum sisymbriifolium may need to be revised as we collect more plant species in the Chaco and other habitats in South America.
Solanum sisymbriifolium is a member of a large plant genus Solanum, which contains at least 1,500 species and is most similar to another Chacoan species, Solanum euacanthum. As scientists explore the Chaco habitat further, they expect to uncover more new Solanum species.
Solanum sisymbriifolium is native to southern South America and is very common in both the wet and dry Chaco biome in Paraguay. Find out where else you might spot this weedy plant.
Solanum sisymbriifolium behaves like a weed, but its resistance to disease has some unexpected properties. Discover how it could be used to tackle a potato pest.
In Paraguay, Solanum sisymbriifolium invades cattle pastures, much like thistles in Europe. It is not a conservation concern.
Merit researcher in botany