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: 17 Aug 2018


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 a species of Solanum endemic to NSW, 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

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsGreat Darling Anabranch Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Known None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known West of Booligal
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known West of Maude