Paraguay Nightshade (Lycianthes rantonnetii), also known locally as Blue Potato Bush, is a tender perennial shrub from the nightshade family that prefers partial to full sun and fairly consistently moist soil. This plant is related to potato, tomato, aubergine and deadly nightshade. With its bright evergreen foliage and vibrant blue-violet spring through summer papery blooms, Paraguay nightshade brings a lush tropical feel to Davis yards. This open, airy shrub grows to about 5 feet with long arching stems on which are borne abundant flowers. This plant propagates from semi-hardwood cuttings.

All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested and dog owners should be alert to the following symptoms: hypersalivation, poor appetite, severe gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, CNS depression, confusion, behavioral change, weakness, dilated pupils and slow heart rate. These symptoms will result from ingestion of potato, tomato or any other members of the nightshade family.

To learn about other plants which grow well in our Davis climate, visit our Town Flora.