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Until I started out attempting to identify all aspects of nature some twenty-five years ago I always thought that this plant was deadly nightshade! However, one of the first unusual plants I found back then turned out to be, on investigation, deadly nightshade and so I had to hastily modify a fair number of records I had made of this one to bittersweet. It was a bitter-sweet experience!

Bittersweet, also known as woody nightshade, is a member of the nightshade family and is also related to the potato. The flowers and berries are very similar to those you might find on potatoes growing in your garden or allotment.

Flowering from June through until September in a wide range of habitats bittersweet is very common here in Dorset.


Common Name Bittersweet
Alternative Name(s) Woody Nightshade
Scientific Name Solanum dulcamara
Species Group Climbers
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Nightshade family - Solonaceae
Status Common
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for Climbing plant with purple flowers and yellow centres
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: