|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Solanaceae (from the genus Solanum, the significance unknown). Nightshade Family. Herbs, erect or climbing shrubs, or small trees: leaves usually alternate: flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual, regular, rarely irregular; calyx 5-cleft; corolla 5-lobed, gamopetalous, hypogynous, usually plicate in the bud, the folds twisted to right or left, rarely the tips of the folds valvate or imbricated; stamens 5, epipetalous, alternating with the corolla-lobes; hypogynous disk present; ovary superior, 2-celled, rarely falsely 1-, or more, celled; ovules in each cell 1 to many; style 1; stigmas 1-2: fruit a berry or capsule.
About 70 genera and 1,600 species, 900 of which belong to Solanum, are distributed m the tropical and warm temperate regions, the greatest number being in Central and South America. The family is related to the Scrophulariaceae, Convolvulaceae and Nolanaceae. The regular, plaited corolla, and usually numerous seeds are important distinguishing characteristics. Datura has a prickly fruit. The calyx of Physalis is accrescent and inflated, surrounds the fruit, and is often colored.
Many Solanaceae contain narcotic or poisonous alkaloids and are used in medicine. Belladonna (alkaloid atropine) is obtained from the roots of Atropa Belladonna; it was formerly used by women to dilate the pupils of the eye, hence the specific name. The leaves and flowers of Datura Stramonium (Jimson weed) constitute the stramonium of medicine (alkaloid daturine). Stramonium seeds were formerly used by magicians to produce fantastic visions, and by thieves to stupefy their victims. Henbane (alkaloid hyoscyamine) consists of the leaves and tops of Hyoscyamus niger and is narcotic. Mandragora is similar in effect to belladonna. It was used by sorcerers to produce hallucinations in their victims. Scopolia carniolica and Solanum carolinense (horse-nettle) have been used in medicine. The remedy, pichi, consists of the dried twigs of Fabiana imbricata of Chile. European bittersweet (S. Dulcamara) has been used as medicine; it is poisonous. Black nightshade (S. nigrum) and others are poisonous. Tobacco is the dried leaves of Nicotiana Tabacum. Winter cherry (Physalis Alkekengii) is diuretic. Chilli is a name for the fruits of Capsicum annuum of South America. Cayenne pepper is the fruit of various species of Capsicum. Tomato, or love apple, is the fruit of Lycopersicum esculentum (~ Solanum Lycopersicum). Species of nightshade, when cooked, are eaten as greens. Eggplant is the fruit of S. Melongena of Asia. Potatoes are the tubers of S. tuberosum of Peru and Chile.
About 30 genera are cultivated in North America as ornamental plants or for food. Among these are: Atropa (Belladonna); Capsicum (Red or Cayenne Pepper); Cestrum; Cyphomandra (Tree Tomato); Datura (Angel's Trumpet, Datura); Hyoscyamus (Henbane); Lycium (Matrimony Vine, Box Thorn); Lycopersicum (Tomato), [Engler and Prantl unite this with Solanum]; Mandragora (Mandrake of history); Nicotiana (Nicotina, Tobacco); Nicandra (Apple of Peru); Nierembergia (Cup-flower, White Cup); Petunia; Physalis (Ground Cherry, Strawberry Tomato, Alkekengi, Bladder Cherry, Cape Gooseberry, Chinese Lantern Plant); Salpiglossis; Schizanthus (Butterfly Flower, Poor man's Orchid); Streptosolen; Solandra; and Solanum (Nightshade, Potato, Pepino, Melon Pear, Melon Shrub, Eggplant, Guinea Squash, Aubergine, Jerusalem Cherry, Potato Vine, Bittersweet).CH
List from Wikipediawp:
Atropa (deadly nightshade)
Brugmansia (angel's trumpet)
Nierembergia or cupflower
Solanum (tomato, potato, eggplant)
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963