What is SOLANACEAE The Potato family

General Characteristics



  1. Habit; Small trees , Annual, Biennial or perennial

  2. Roots; Tap roots ( Fibrous or Tuberous )

  3.  Stem; Woody or Herbaceous, erect, underground stem.

  4.  Leaves; Soft in touch, unicostate recticulate venation, simple, alternate or opposite, petiolate, exstipulate.

  5.  Inflorescence; simple solitary, terminal or lateral.

  6. Flower; Actinomorphic (cut from any axis) or Zygomorphic , Hermaphrodite (both male and female sex organs are present on the same plant), complete, regular, hypogynous.

  7. Calyx (sepals); Green, 5 Sepals, gamosepalous,

  8. Corolla (petals); Petals of flower, 5 petals, gamopetalous.

  9. Androceiun (stamens); 5 stamens.

  10. Gynasium(carpel); Bicarpellary, ovary is superior.

  11. Fruits ; Berry.

  12. Seed; Endospermic seed, Albuminous seed.


Floral Diagram



Floral Formula



Economic Importance of Potato Family ( Solanaceae ):-



  1. Food:- Many plants of potato family are used as food. i.e. (A) Solanum tubersum; (potato; white or Irish potato) it is very important plant of this family. It is used as food on in all over the world. The people of Ireland completely depend upon potato (solanum tubersum) for food. (B) Lysopersicum esculenttum ( Totato);  Once upon a time, it was believed that it  is a poisonous plant. but now it is also used as food or vegetable.  (C) Solanum Melangrna (Brijnal or egg plant); It is also used as food or vegetable. (D) Vitamin C and A source; Capsicum annum and Capsicum frutenscens are the rich source of vitamin A and Vitamin C. They are also used as spices (condiments). (E) Ground-cherry ( Physalis ); It produces eatable fruit. Husk:- This fruit is enclosed in a bladder like calyx called husk. Therefore, it is also called husk tomato.

  2. Tobacco; The scientific name of tobacco is Nicotiana tobacum. It has great economic value. Tobacco is also used for manufacturing cigarettes and many other drugs.

  3. Medicinal Plants; Many members of this family are used for manufacturing useful medicines and drugs. i.e. Atropa belladonna,Datura they are used in medicines.

  4. Ornamental Plants; Many members of this family are used as ornamental plants. i.e. solanum, nicotiana, peyunia, cestrum. etc.

  5. Weeds; Solanum nigrum is used as weeds.


Distribution Pattern


This family contains about 90 genera and 2000 species. The plants of this family are distributed in the temperate zone or tropical areas. In Pakistan, about 14 genera and 52 species are known.


Common Species Of Potato family



  1. Potato (Solanum Tubersum)

  2. Tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum)

  3. Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum)

  4. Red pepper (Capsicum frutescens)

  5. Solanum melangena (BRIJNAL)

  6. Petunia alba (it has 7 colours)

  7. Solanum negrum.

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