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The Solanaceae, or the nightshade family, is a family of flowering plants that ranges from annual and perennial herbs to vines, lianas, epiphytes, shrubs, and trees as well as agricultural crops, medicinal plants, spices, weeds, and ornamentals. There are many members of this family that contain potent alkaloids, and some of them are extremely toxic, but many of them are also used as food, such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers. As a family, the Solanaceae is of the order Solanales, which belongs to the class Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons), belonging to the asterid group. The Solanaceae consists of 98 genera and some 2,700 species, with a great diversity of habitats, morphologies, and ecological conditions.
As the name suggests, the family is derived from the genus Solanum. The origin of the Latin word is unclear. There is a possibility that the name refers to a perceived resemblance between some solanaceous flowers and the sun’s rays. At least one species of Solanum is known as the “sunberry.” It is also possible that the name derives from a Latin word solare, which means “to soothe”, possibly referring to the soothing pharmacological properties that some of the family have to offer.
There is a worldwide distribution of this family, which is found on all continents except Antarctica, and the highest degree of diversity can be found in South America and Central America. An analysis of a fossil specimen belonging to the living genus Physalis, Physalis infinemundi, found in the Patagonian region of Argentina, dated 52 million years ago, has been published in the journal Science. According to this finding, the earliest appearance of the plant family Solanaceae has been pushed back.
It is well
known that many of the species in the Solanaceae family can be collected or cultivated. As far as the family is concerned, the most economically important genus is Solanum, which contains the potato (S. tuberosum, it is often referred to as the “potato family”), the tomato (S. lycopersicum), and the aubergine or eggplant (S. melongena). Capsicum is another important genus that produces both bell peppers and chilies.
The genus Physalis produces the so-called groundcherries, as well as the tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) and Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry). Alkekengi officinarum (Chinese Lantern) was previously included in the genus Physalis (as Physalis alkekengi), until molecular and genetic evidence placed it as the type species of a new genus. The genus Lycium contains the boxthorns and the goji berry, Lycium barbarum. Nicotiana contains, among other species, tobacco. Additionally, the Solanaceae family includes many ornamental plants such as Petunia, Browallia, and Lycianthes, as well as sources of psychoactive alkaloids such as Datura, Mandragora (mandrake), and Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade). Several species of plants have been
known to have medicinal effects, psychotropic effects, or even poisonous effects, which makes them widely known.
believed that the majority of economically important genera belong to the Solanoideae subfamily, with the exception of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum, Nicotianoideae) and petunia (Petunia hybrida, Petunioideae).
A number of plant species in the Solanaceae, such as tobacco and petunia, have been
used as model organisms in order to investigate fundamental biological questions at the cellular, molecular, and genetic levels.
Description of nightshade vegetables
The Solanaceae is a family of plants that includes herbs, shrubs, trees, vines and lianas, as well as epiphytes, that can be either annuals, biennials, or perennials. Some have underground tubers and some do not have laticifers, latex, and colored saps. They can have a basal or terminal group of leaves or none of these. Some have underground tubers. There are either alternate or alternate to opposed leaves in the plant (i.e., alternate at the base of the plant, and opposite toward the inflorescence). The leaves can be herbaceous, leathery, or
transformed into spines. They are usually petiolate or subsessile, rarely sessile.
Many species are odorless, but others are aromatic or fetid. Generally, the leaves are either simple or compound, and the latter can be
pinnatifid or ternate in nature. There is no basal meristem and the leaves have reticulated venation. It generally has dorsiventral laminae and there are no secretory cavities in the laminae. The stomata of a leaf are usually
restricted to one of the two sides of the leaf; they are rarely
found on both sides of the leaf.
A majority of the flowers are hermaphrodites, with a few species being monoecious, andromonoecious, or dioecious (such as Solanum and Symonanthus). A flower’s pollination is by an entomophilic entomologist. It can be solitary or can be
grouped into terminal, cymose, or axillary inflorescences. Flowers range from medium to large, are fragrant (Nicotiana), fetid (Anthocercis), or inodorous (Anthocercis) in scent.
There are several types of flowers in Sizanthus species that are actinomorphic, slightly zygomorphic, or markedly zygomorphic (for example, flowers with a bilabial corolla, which are common in Schizanthus species). The irregularities in the symmetry may be
caused by the androecium or the perianth or both. In the great majority of species, the flowers have a differentiated perianth with a calyx and corolla (with five sepals and five petals, respectively) and an androecium with five stamens and two carpels which form a gynoecium with a superior ovary (which makes them known as pentamers or tetracyclic flowers).
It is typical for stamens to have an epipetalous structure, with multiples of four or five, most commonly four or eight. They also usually have a hypogynous disk as well. With the five lobes of the calyx being shorter than the tube, it is persistent and often accrescent because the calyx is gamosepalous (as the sepals are
joined together creating a tube), the segments are equal (4)5(6), and the lobes are shorter than the tube. Five petals are usually
arranged in a tube shape, making it a corolla. Flowers can be
rotated (wheel-shaped, spreading in one plane, with a short tube), tubular (elongated cylindrical tube), campanulated or funnel-shaped.
Throughout the androecium are (2)(4)5(6) free stamens
situated opposite the sepals (alternating with petals). In most cases, they are fertile or, in some cases (such as in Salpiglossideae), they have staminodes. Typically, one staminode is present (Salpiglossis) or three staminodes are present (Schizanthus). There is an anther that touches the upper end of the flower to form a ring, or it is entirely free,
dorsifixed, or basifixed, due to a poricide dehiscence or a longitudinal crack. Plants show simultaneous microsporogenesis. The stamens can be
inserted into coralline tubes or exserted. Their filaments can be filiform or flat. At the moment of dehiscence, the pollen grains are bicellular, usually open, and angular. They are usually bicellular at the moment of dehiscence. They produce tetrahedral, tetrahedral, or isobilateral microspores.
In most plants, a gynoecium (usually bicarpellary, but rarely three- or five-locular) has a superior ovary with two locules, which are often
separated by false septa, as in Nicandreae and Datureae. It is located obliquely relative to the flower’s median plane. There is one style and one stigma, the latter being either simple or bilobated. In each locule, there are one to 50 ovules that are anatropous or hemianatropous with axillary placentation.
There are a number of different ways in which the embryo sack develops in similar circumstances to those of Polygonum and Allium species. In the case of Atropa, the three antipodes are usually ephemeral or persistent. The three antipodes fuse before fertilization are usually ephemeral. A fruit can be a berry, for example, like tomato or wolfberry, or it could be a dehiscent capsule, like Datura, or it might be a drupe. This fruit is
axially placed. In general, the capsules are septicidal or loculicidal, but rarely valvate or loculicidal. It is common for the seeds of the Solanaceae to be endospermic, oily (rarely starchy), and without obvious hairs.
after that…nightshade vegetables
Most of the seeds of the Solanaceae are flat and round, and are about 2 to 4 millimeters (0.079 to 0.157 inches) in diameter. There are two cotyledons on the embryo, and it is generally straight or curved. Due to polyploidy, most of the species of Solanaceae have two chromosomes, but the number can be a multiple of 12 in many cases. Wild potatoes, of which there are about 200, are predominantly diploid (2 × 12 = 24 chromosomes), but triploid (3 × 12 = 36 chromosomes), tetraploid (4 × 12 = 48 chromosomes), pentaploid (5 × 12 = 60) and even hexaploid (6 × 12 = 72 chromosome) species or populations exist. The cultivated species Solanum tuberosum has 4 × 12 = 48 chromosomes. Some Capsicum species have 2 × 12 = 24 chromosomes, while others have 26 chromosomes.