Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Solanum jasminoides Paxt.

Half hardy, scrambling, evergreen or semi-evergreen climber with glossy, narrow, lance-shaped leaves, to 5cm long, sometimes lobed, and terminal and axillary clusters of fragrant, blue-white flowers, to 2.5cm across, in summer and autumn, followed by ovoid black fruit.  To 6m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Although we adopt the name given to this plant by the Editor of Mr. Paxton’s Magazine, we acknowledge that we do so without being satisfied about its being distinct from the old S. Seaforthianum [Andrews].  Its native country is unknown; it is merely stated to have been received from the Glasgow Botanic Garden, by Messrs. Young of Epsom, and is “considered to be a South American plant.”  S. Seaforthianum is a West indian species, growing freely in a conservatory.  

The only distinction we can make out between the two, consists in the present plant having its flowers more compactly panicled, and the leaves less undulated than they are represented in the published figures of Lord Seaforth’s Bittersweet, but we have no specimen of the latter in our Herbarium, and want means of comparison.

The leaves of this plant are sometimes pinnatifid, sometimes ternate, sometimes quite undivided.  It would also appear to vary in the colour of the flowers, for in Paxton they are represented and described as pale blue; in the plant from which the accompanying figure was taken, they are nearly white.

Whatever it may be, it is found in the Garden of the Horticultural Society, where our drawing was made in September, 1846, to be perfectly hardy if trained against a wall with a southern aspect.  It then becomes an exceedingly pretty climber, and a great ornament.’  [BR f.33/1847]. 

Introduced to Europe in 1838 via North America.  [MB p.273/1839 and MB p.5/1841].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.941/1850].


Published Feb 27, 2010 - 05:22 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2010 - 04:29 PM

Figured is a climber with ovate leaves and terminal cyme of starry white flowers.  Botanical Register f.1739, 1835.

Solanum jasminoides Paxt. | BR f.33/1847 | RBGS

Family Solanaceae
Region of origin


Common Name

Potato vine, Jasmine nightshade

Name in the Camden Park Record

Solanum jasminoides 

Confidence level high