Nees Nightshade
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Nees Nightshade
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Nees Nightshade • Mizo: Vani-an
Botanical name: Lycianthes neesiana    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Solanum neesianum, Lycianthes subtruncata

Nees Nightshade is a shrub 1-2 m tall, velvet-hairy with simple rising up hairs, becoming hairless. It is named in honor of Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck (1766-1858) German botanist. Branchlets are simple or dichotomously branched. Leaves are unequal paired; leaf-stalk of major leaf 2-15 mm, that of minor leaf 1-5 mm; blade of major leaf lanceshaped or elliptic, 4-18 x 3-5 cm, sparsely finely velvet-hairy above, hairless or finely velvet-hairy below, base wedge-shaped, tip pointed; blade of minor leaf 1-8.5 × 2-5 cm. Flowers are borne singly or in 2-9-flowered clusters in leaf axils. Flower-stalks are 8-10 mm, densely velvet-hairy or becoming hairless. Sepal-cup cup-shaped, about 2.5 x 3 mm; teeth 1-10, 0.5-1 mm. Flower are blue, white, or purplish, bell-shaped-star-shaped; petals broadly lanceshaped, 4-5 x 1.5-2 mm. Fruiting flower-stalks are 0.8-2.5 cm. Fruiting sepal-cup is cup-shaped, 3-3.5 mm in diameter, teeth 10, subulate, unequal, 0.5-1 mm. Berry is red or orange, spherical, 5-6 mm in diam. Nees Nightshade is found in China, NE India, Indonesia, Thailand, at altitudes of 200-1600 m.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Tawi, Mizoram.

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