Solanum hoplopetalum, Weeds, Western Australia
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DURING the summer months it is usual to receive many specimens of a prickly plant with blue flowers similar to those of a potato. It is commonly known as Afghan Thistle or Prickly Potato Weed.
This plant is not a thistle, although it has the prickly foliage characteristic of many members of that group. The botanical name is Solanum hystrix which places it in the same family as the tomato, potato and tobacco.
Relatives also include weeds such as the thornapples, black nightshade and apple of Sodom.
The name Prickly Potato Weed, although somewhat unwieldy is therefore more appropriate than Afghan Thistle.
Meadly, G R W
"Afghan thistle (Solanum hystrix R. Br.),"
Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4: Vol. 1:
5, Article 14.
Available at: https://library.dpird.wa.gov.au/journal_agriculture4/vol1/iss5/14