"Horsenettle" and variants redirect here. If used for a particular species, this name usually applies to the Carolina Horsenettle
Carolina horsenettle
Carolina Horsenettle is not a true nettle, but a member of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, native to southeastern United States that has spread widely throughout North America...

 (S. carolinense).

Solanum, the nightshades, horsenettles and relatives, is a large and diverse genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of annual
Annual plant
An annual plant is a plant that usually germinates, flowers, and dies in a year or season. True annuals will only live longer than a year if they are prevented from setting seed...

 and perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

s. They grow as forb
A forb is a herbaceous flowering plant that is not a graminoid . The term is used in biology and in vegetation ecology, especially in relation to grasslands and understory.-Etymology:...

s, vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...

s, subshrub
A subshrub or dwarf shrub is a short woody plant. Prostrate shrub is a similar term.It is distinguished from a shrub by its ground-hugging stems and lower height, with overwintering perennial woody growth typically less than 10–20 cm tall, or by being only weakly woody and/or persisting...

s, shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s, and small tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s, and often have attractive fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 and flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s. Many formerly independent genera like Lycopersicon
Lycopersicon was a genus in the flowering plant family Solanaceae . It contains 13 confirmed species in the tomato group of nightshades; a few others might also belong here. First removed from the genus Solanum by Philip Miller in 1754, its removal leaves the latter genus paraphyletic, so modern...

 (the tomatoes) or Cyphomandra
Cyphomandra was a genus in the flowering plant family Solanaceae . It used to contain about 35 species native to countries of the Americas from Mexico southwards to Northern Argentina....

 are included in Solanum as subgenera or section
Section (botany)
In botany, a section is a taxonomic rank below the genus, but above the species. The subgenus, if present, is higher than the section, and the rank of series, if present, is below the section. Sections are typically used to help organise very large genera, which may have hundreds of species...

s today.