Nature conservation

Threatened species

Menindee Nightshade - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Solanum karsense
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 20 May 2014


Grey-green downy forb to 0.3 m high, densely covered with pale star-shaped hairs. Firm pale spines to 15 mm long are scattered along the stems. Leaves rounded, 1.5-3 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, shallowly lobed along the edges, densely hairy. Flowers purple, shallowly bell-shaped, 20-35 mm in diameter. Berry about 7 mm in diameter.


Menindee Nightshade is the only species of Solanum endemic to NSW and is restricted to the far south-western plains, extending up the Darling River to the Menindee and Wilcannia districts. Mainly restricted to the area between the Darling and Lachlan Rivers. Localities include Kars Station, Lake Tandou, Lake Cawndilla, Oxley area, between Broken Hill and Menindee, and the Darling River. It has been recorded from Kinchega National Park and Nearie Lake Nature Reserve.

Habitat and ecology

  • Grows in occasionally flooded depressions with heavy soil, including level river floodplains of grey clay with Black Box and Old Man Saltbush, and open treeless plains with solonized brown soils.
  • Habitats are generally lake beds or floodplains of heavy grey clays with a highly self-mulching surface. Also found on sandy floodplains and ridges and in calcareous soils, red sands, red-brown earths and loamy soils.
  • Flowers chiefly in spring.
  • Has been observed in the field to have an extensive root system which will grow when cut and left on the soil surface. This species is ephemeral in nature, appearing following rainfall events. It also tolerates disturbance and will often appear after such activities as grading, ploughing and flooding for irrigation.
  • Menindee Nightshade is a clonal species and is recorded as common to locally abundant in most populations. It can form small colonies of several hundred plants, to large spreading colonies found over an area of 8-12000 hectares (11 stands over about 6 km). Isolated and few plants have also been recorded at some sites.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

CMA CMA sub-region Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
LachlanLachlan Known west of Booligal
Lower Murray-DarlingBarrier Range Outwash, Fans and Plains Known None
Lower Murray-DarlingDarling Depression Predicted None
Lower Murray-DarlingGreat Darling Anabranch Known None
Lower Murray-DarlingLachlan (Part A) Known None
Lower Murray-DarlingLachlan (Part B) Predicted None
Lower Murray-DarlingMenindee Known None
Lower Murray-DarlingSouth Olary Plain, Murray Basin Sands (Part B) Known None
Lower Murray-DarlingSouth Olary Plain, Murray Basin Sands (Part C) Predicted None
MurrumbidgeeMurrumbidgee Known west of Maude
MurrumbidgeeSouth Olary Plain, Murray Basin Sands (Part B) Predicted None
WesternBarrier Range Outwash, Fans and Plains (Part B) Predicted
WesternBarrier Range Outwash, Fans and Plains (Part C) Predicted
WesternDarling Depression Known None
WesternMenindee Predicted None
WesternSouth Olary Plain, Murray Basin Sands Predicted None