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Solanum umbelliferum (Bluewitch Nightshade)

Bluewitch Nightshade, Bluewitch, Barba De Chivo

Solanum umbelliferum, Bluewitch Nightshade, Bluewitch, Barba De Chivo, purple flowers, Blue Flowers, California Native Plants, California Native Shrubs
Solanum umbelliferum, Bluewitch Nightshade, Bluewitch, Barba De Chivo, purple flowers, Blue Flowers, California Native Plants, California Native Shrubs

Surviving neglect, Solanum umbelliferum (Bluewitch Nightshade) is a rounded to spreading, evergreen to deciduous shrub boasting a profusion of small umbels of blue-purple flowers adorned with a cone of prominent yellow stamens. Though the main bloom period is spring and summer, some flowers will occur most of the year. The flowers are frequented by bumblebees and a few other bee species. Borne on slender stems, the frilly blossoms close into round buds overnight. They attract insects and give way to small round green fruits, which turn purple when ripe and resemble small eggplants. Birds feast on the fruit. The blossoms stand out nicely against the foliage of simple, oval, gray leaves. The leaves are summer deciduous if the plant is not given enough moisture. Solanum umbelliferum is native to Chaparral and Juniper-Oak Woodland plant communities from northern California to Baja California and east into Arizona, where it can be found growing on dry rocky slopes and canyons from sea level to above 5,000 feet. Bluewitch Nightshade is a tough, hardy shrub that can grow in rocky and clay soils and springs up in areas recovering from wildfires or other disturbances. Deer resistant, Bluewitch Nightshade is a great plant for a dry rock garden, perennial border, or as a container specimen.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide (60-90 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun to part shade in a variety of dry, well-drained soils. Needs little irrigation in summer – once a month once established. Tolerates saline soil, sodic soil and drought.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • All parts of the plant are toxic to people and some animals.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses, toxic to humans.
  • Propagate by treated seed or rooted layers. Seeds need a one-hour acid or hot water treatment.
  • Native to Arizona, California, Oregon, and Baja California.

Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 10
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Solanaceae
Genus Solanum
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, California, Oregon, Arizona
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Coastal Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Solanum melongena (Eggplant)
Solanum tuberosum (Potato)
Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato)
Solanum xanti (Purple Nightshade)
Lycianthes rantonnetii (Blue Potato Bush)
Solanum integrifolium (Pumpkin on a Stick)

Recommended Companion Plants

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon)
Corethrogyne filaginifolia (California Aster)
Encelia californica (California Brittlebush)

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Best and Worst Companion Plants for Tomatoes
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 10
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Solanaceae
Genus Solanum
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, California, Oregon, Arizona
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Solanum
Not sure which Solanum to pick?
Compare Now

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