COCK'S-EGGS

Salpichroa origanifolia

Nightshade Family [Solanaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZyellow berryZgreen berryZpurple  (poisonous)
berry8Jul berry8July berry8Aug berry8Sep berry8Sept berry8Oct berry8Nov berry8Dec

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZbell
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
sex
sexZbisexual

10th May 2014, Guernsey, Channel Islands Photo: © Maryline Calabrin
A perennial flower belonging to the Nightshade family. Leaves not toothed.


10th May 2014, Guernsey, Channel Islands Photo: © Maryline Calabrin
The flowers hand downwards, are bell-shaped and totally white when opened. When in bud stage the outside of the petals are yellow nearer the tip. The flower is 6-10mm across at the bell-end.


10th May 2014, Guernsey, Channel Islands Photo: © Maryline Calabrin
Flowers with dark purple(ish) stalks, thin long pale-green sepals, and a white style with discoidal end, which has the anthers of the stamens held appressed to it. The plant is covered in short curled hairs all over apart from the petals, of which there are 5 recurved at the bell end. The berries (not shown) are also whitish and between 10-15mm across.


10th May 2014, Guernsey, Channel Islands Photo: © Maryline Calabrin
A leaf edge and leaf stem with short, curly hairs. Those on the leaf are appressed.


Not to be semantically confused with : Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Slender Cock's-foot (Dactylis polygama), Cockspur (Echinochloa crus-galli), Cockspurthorn (Crataegus crus-galli), Cockroach Berry (Solanum capsicoides) (another nightshade), Corncockle (Agrostemma githago), Argentine Cockelbur (Xanthium ambrosioides), Spiny Cockelbur (Xanthium spinosum), Rough Cockelbur (Xanthium strumarium) [plants with similar names mostly from differing families]

Easily mis-identified as : Green Nightshade (Solanum physalifolium) which also has white flowers which hand downwards, but they have 5 fully cut petals although they do not fully open and are not bell-shaped. The stems are also green.

Some similarities to : Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) which also has small white flowers, but there the 5 petals of the flowers open up properly, are not bell-shaped, but do face downwards. The stems are black (rather than the green of Cock's-eggs)

Slight resemblance to : Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis) which also has white bell-shaped flowers which hang downwards, but the leaves are broad-lanceolate and emanate from near ground level and stand erect close to the main stem.

The plant is a neophyte grown in gardens and which becomes naturalised in Suffolk, Abbotsbury, Lowestoft, Dorset, and especially in Guernsey. It grows to 1.5m with stems which have many branches.

It contains several Salpichrolides such as Salpichrolide C, Salpichrolide G, Salpichrolide A which are poisonous.


  Salpichroa origanifolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Solanaceae  

Distribution
 family8Nightshade family8Solanaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Salpichroa
Salpichroa
(Cock's-Eggs)

COCK'S-EGGS

Salpichroa origanifolia

Nightshade Family [Solanaceae]