The Kentucky Solanaceae
Commonly known as the nightshade family, the Solanaceae is also home to more innocuous plants such as tomatoes, tomatillos, potatoes, eggplants, red peppers, and petunias. The family is well known for tobacco and other alkaloid containing plants such as belladonna and mandrake. All plants in the family contain toxic alkaloids, at least in the foliage and often in other parts as well.
The nightshade family is large and economically important. While representatives are found nearly worldwide, the family is most diverse in Central and South America, and many species prefer tropical climates. However, three genera are native to Kentucky and four more are found either naturalized or occasionally escaped from cultivation. Still more are grown here as annuals.