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Products > Solanum laxum
Solanum laxum - Potato Vine

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Solanaceae (Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [S. jasminoides, S. laxum Album']
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Solanum laxum (Potato Vine) - An evergreen vine (in mild climates) that quickly grows to 30 feet with dark green to almost blackish ovate-lanceolate leaves. In mild climates, the star-shaped white flowers, produced abundantly on a branching inflorescence, can bloom year-round; the peak bloom period being in spring. Plant in sun or part shade and water regularly. Cold Hardy to 10 F. Reportedly tolerant of near seashore conditions. A fast growing attractive vine that can quickly cover a small arbor or chain link fence. As will many plants in the potato family, vegetative parts are poisonous as are the fruits, so they should not be ingested and fruit should be cleaned up so pets do not eat. This plant has long been called Solanum jasminoides, so named because its flowery boughs so resemble a true jasmine (Jasminum sp.) as described in 1841 by Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-1865) in his Magazine of Botany: Register of Flowering Plants. Paxton, who was the gardener to the Duke of Devonshire and the architect of the Crystal Palace for the London Exhibition of 1851, published his Magazine of Botany from 1834-1849. In it he describes Solanum jasminoides from material in cultivation that originated from the Glasgow Botanic Garden, but presumed to be originally from South America. Later it was determined that this plant was the same as the Brazilian plant previously described as Solanum laxum by the German botanist Curt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel (1766-1833) in his edited (for Linnaeus) work Systema vegetabilium Volume V in 1824. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'laxus' meaning "loose", "slack" or "relaxed", likely in reference to the open inflorescence. Though all plants we have noted in cultivation always has white flowers this plant is occasionally listed as Solanum laxum 'Album' and under this name was awarded the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Solanum laxum [S. jasminoides].