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I walk past this very tropical and prehistoric looking plant on campus every day and noticed today that it has been flowering and fruiting. Anyone know what it is? More details in the individual picture captions, hover to read them.

@franciecashman the shape of the flowers is making me think of the nightshade family... but the leaves, hmm

@Louisa @franciecashman there are definitely some nettle-type plants in the nightshade family that have thorns on the underside of their leaves, but the height of the plant is giving me pause

@Louisa @sexybenfranklin used the plantnet app and it suggested bura-bura, a type of eggplant. Eggplant is in the nightshade family isn't it?

@franciecashman @Louisa solanum is the genus that covers eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes, and is ok the nightshade family

@sexybenfranklin @Louisa I know not of these things, but I looked up "Solanum stramoniifolium" as you suggested and I think that's it! It says it gets 1-2 meters high and just as broad. It's so cool looking.

@franciecashman @sexybenfranklin it's very cool! I wonder if the fruits are edible (probably not)

@Louisa @sexybenfranklin One site I looked at said they are super alkaline, so I imagine extremely bitter. There as a paper at NIH on it, apparently it has legitimate medicinal properties, very high in antioxidants.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/284887

@franciecashman so, I used an app called plantnet and I think it's a bura-bura which is in the solanum genus. It looks like it's a type of eggplant

@franciecashman Late to the party but I gave one of the pictures to my google assistant and it said Solanum ferox. Wikipedia says that's either "Indian nightshade" or "Hairy fruited eggplant"..

@openess Thank you for looking!!!! We ruled out ferox because of its height. Definitely the Solanum family though. So many people responded. We think it is Solanum stramoniifolium because it can get two meters high and that plant was way taller than me. I'm obsessed with the weird fruit.

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