Lindsay Bourque wrote today’s entry:
As noted by the photographer on Flickr, Carolina horsenettle is in fact not a nettle, but instead belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Members of the Solanaceae are known for producing a diverse range of alkaloids, some of which can be toxic. In the case of Solanum carolinense, all parts of the plant contain solanine. Solanine is poisonous to humans and can irritate skin, causing a nettle-like rash. Given that the fruits of this plant look like small tomatoes, it is important not to mistake it!
Carolina horsenettle is considered to be a noxious weed in several states in the USA. It has the ability to spread vegetatively via underground rhizomes, as well as propagate by seed. Carolina horsenettle’s status as a weed is further bolstered by the fact that is resistant to many herbicides; in fact, use of herbicides will often give horsenettle the advantage by removing competing weeds.