Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Solanaceae, a considerable order of gamopetalous dicotyledons, comprising some 60 genera. They are mostly herbs or shrubs, more abundant in the tropics than in temperate latitudes, and in America than in the Old World. Their leaves, though truly scattered, are often geminate, owing to local want of separation between the stem and a petiole. The inflorescence is similarly often extra-axi11ary. The flowers are generally polysymmetrically and isostemonously pentamerous, i.e. there are five sepals, five petals, and five stamens, with two many-ovuled united carpels. There is little to separate the order from the more polysymmetric genera of Scrophulariaceae (q.v.), save its generally narcotic properties. It includes the genera Solanum, in which are the potato and the bittersweet, Capsicum (q.v.), Nicotiana, the tobaccos (q.v.), Petunia (q.v.), Hyoscyamus, the henbane (q.v.), Atropa, the deadly nightshade (q.v.), Lycopersicum, the tomato (q.v.), etc.