Greenhouse hydroponic and field experiments were conducted to determine the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilizer on eastern black nightshade growth and N content. After 4 wk in hydroponics, the greatest shoot dry mass occurred in the 5 or 10 mM nitrate treatments. An exponential model was strongly correlated with eastern black nightshade root and shoot growth in the 5 or 10 mM nitrate treatments. Eastern black nightshade reached the exponential stage of growth approximately 21 d after transfer to the nitrate treatments. Root dry mass was only 10% of shoot biomass. There was a substantial increase in height and growth rate when plants were fertilized with 168 kg N ha−1. Eastern black nightshade was at its maximum growth 12 wk after planting, and fresh mass increased with N up to 336 kg N ha−1, the greatest N concentration in the study. The greatest N content was in the upper leaves and the least in the lower stem. These results indicate that eastern black nightshade growth is favored by high rates of N.
Nomenclature: Eastern black nightshade, Solanum ptycanthum Dun. SOLPT.