Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Solanaceae

1 Leaves all basal, from creeping rhizomes; corolla white; [subfamily Solanoideae].
..2 Leaves broadly elliptical, rounded at the base; corolla lobes > 2× as long as wide, attenuate at the tip; [tribe Jaboroseae]
..2 Leaves ovate, strongly cordate at the base; corolla lobes < 1.5× as long as broad, obtuse (acute) at the tip; [tribe Capsiceae]
1 Leaves all or mainly cauline.
....3 Plant distinctly woody, an upright shrub or scrambling vine.
......4 Flowers white or yellow, the tube > 6× as long as its diameter; fruit either a white berry, or a capsule.
........5 Fruit a white berry; [subfamily Cestroideae; tribe Cestreae]
........5 Fruit a capsule; [subfamily Nicotianoideae]
......4 Flowers lavender or blue, the tube < 3× as long as its diameter; fruit a red, orange, or yellow berry; [subfamily Solanoideae].
..........6 Leaves 0.5-7 cm long, 0.2-3.5 cm wide; [tribe Lycieae]
..........6 Leaves 10-30 cm long, 4-14 cm wide; [tribe Solaneae]
....3 Plant herbaceous (some taxa keyed here can be robust and tough-stemmed, but are herbaceous, lacking overwintering buds on aerial stems).
............ 7 Corolla salverform or narrowly funnel-shaped, with a well-developed tubular portion, this > 1 cm long (except in Calibrachoa) and either flared or essentially isodiametric and > 4× as long as its midpoint diameter, the limb expanding more or less abruptly from the tubular portion; fruit a capsule opening by longitudinal valves or by apical pores.
............ ..8 Corolla 7-25 cm long, white, pale blue or pale pink; capsule spiny, 3-5 cm long, subtended by a collar formed by the reflexed corolla base; [subfamily Solanoideae; tribe Datureae]
............ ..8 Corolla 0.6-7 cm long, white, blue, pink, or other colors; capsule smooth, not collared.
............ ....9 Flowers solitary, axillary; [subfamily Petunioideae].
............ ......10 Leaves linear to narrowly spatulate
............ ......10 Leaves oblong, ovate or elliptic
............ ....9 Flowers in (2-) 3-many flowered racemes or panicles.
............ ........11 Calyx accrescent in fruit, wholly or partly surrounding the capsule; corolla lavender to blue, with a whitish center; flower bilaterally symmetrical; stamens 4; [subfamily Cestroideae; tribe Browallieae]
............ ........11 Calyx not accrescent, subtending the mature fruit; corolla white, pink, green, pink, or blue; flower radially symmetrical; stamens 5.
............ ..........12 Leaves broad, > 4 cm wide; corolla tube 1.5-12.0 cm long; [subfamily Nicotianoideae]
............ ..........12 Leaves narrow, linear to narrowly oblancolate, to 0.5 mm wide; corolla tube 1.0-1.4 cm long; [subfamily Petunioideae]
............ 7 Corolla either urceolate, campanulate, or rotate, lacking a narrow tubular portion that is both > 1 cm long and > 4× as long as its midpoint diameter; fruit a berry (or circumscissile capsule in Hyoscyamus); [subfamily Solanoideae].
............ ............ 13 Fruit a circumscissile capsule; calyx accrescent, nearly enclosing the fruit; corolla cream to yellow, with a maroon center; inflorescence a strongly secund raceme; [tribe Hyoscyameae]
............ ............ 13 Fruit a berry (hollow in Capsicum); calyx either accrescent around the fruit or not (and then subtending the fruit); corolla various (but not as above, though in some Physalis yellow and with each petal marked with a purple or maroon spot); inflorescence various.
............ ............ ..14 Calyx not accrescent, subtending the mature berry.
............ ............ ....15 Berries 1.0-2.5 cm long; corolla urceolate (at least slightly constricted at the ‘neck’, just below the lobes of the corolla).
............ ............ ......16 Berries nearly spherical, blue-black, 1.0-2.0 cm long, 1.0-2.0 cm in diameter; corolla 2-3 cm long, maroon or purple, and greenish towards the base; plant an upright herb; [tribe Hyoscyameae]
............ ............ ......16 Berries elliptical, yellow, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm in diameter; corolla white 0.7-1.0 cm long, white; plant a trailing or scrambling vine; [tribe Physaleae]
............ ............ ....15 Berries 0.3-25 cm long.
............ ............ ........17 Locules air-filled; berries usually elongate and irregularly shaped (sometimes ovoidal or spherical; [peppers, chilis]; [tribe Capsiceae]
............ ............ ........17 Locules fleshy; berries spherical or ellipsoidal; [nightshades, tomato, potato, eggplant]; [tribe Solaneae]
............ ............ ..14 Calyx accrescent, wholly or partly surrounding the mature berry.
............ ............ ..........18 Mature calyx spiny; [tribe Solaneae]
............ ............ ..........18 Mature calyx glabrous or with hairs.
............ ............ ............ 19 Calyx divided nearly to the auricled base; corolla blue; [tribe Nicandreae]
............ ............ ............ 19 Calyx fused nearly to its summit; corolla white or yellow; [tribe Physalinae].
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruiting calyx bright red (fresh or dry); corolla white; [cultivated and weakly naturalized near gardens]
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruiting calyx green, yellow, or orange, drying brown or tan; corolla yellow, often marked with 5 large maroon or purple spots in the throat; [collectively widespread].
............ ............ ............ ....21 Flowers 2 or more per leaf axil; berries with spherical seed-like bodies intermixed with the flattened, reniform seeds; [of the Gulf Coastal Plain]
............ ............ ............ ....21 Flowers 1 per leaf axil; berries with flattened, reniform seeds only; [collectively widespread]