Family Solanaceae

Family: Solanaceae

Popular name: The Potato Family

Taxonomic position (according to Cronquist)

Kingdom                     :Plantae

Division                       :Magnoliophyta

Class                            :Magnoliopsida

Subclass                      :Asterdae

Order                           :Solanales

Family                         :Solanaceae


Origin and Distribution

The family Solanaceae consists of about 85 genera and 2800 species of nearly cosmopolitan distribution. In Bangladesh, the family is represented by 13 genera and 37 species.

Identifying characters of the family

  1. Dichotomously branched
  2. Leaves alternate
  3. Calyx persistent
  4. Fruit berry


Botanical Description


Habit: Mostly herbs, a few shrubs, armed or unarmed with branched taproots.

Stem: Stem erect, herbaceous or woody, branched, solid or hollow, hairy or glabrous, sometimes with underground tubers.

Leaves: petiolate or sessile usually alternate, often in unequal pairs, rarely clustered or opposite near the inflorescence, simple, entire, lobed divide in some species, unicostate.

Inflorescence: Inflorescence axillary or extra-axillary and leaf-opposed racemes or cymes (helicoid, umbellate or scorpioid). Open or closed panicles or flowers axillary and solitary, sometimes extra axillary

Flower:  bracteate or ebracteate. pedicellateor subsessile, actinomorphic to zygomorphic, bisexual, pentamerous.

Calyx: Sepals 5, imbricate or valvate, tubular, campanulate or urceolate, persistent or accrescent.

Corolla: Petals 5, rotate or tubular to funnel- shaped, cup-shaped or salver-shaped, imbricate or valvate.

Androecium: Stamens 5, sometimes 4, rarely 6, epipetalous, alternate with the corolla lobes, usually equal, rarely didynamous, anthers 2-celled, dehiscing longitudinally or poricidally, included or exserted, basifixed or dorsifixed.

Gynoecium: Ovary superior, bilocular, occasionally becoming tetralocular by the formation of a false septa, or remaining unilocular apically, placenta swollen, axile, with numerous anatropous to amphitropous ovules, styles simple, filiform or flattened above, stigmas bifid or capitate, disk usually apparent below the ovary.

Fruit: Fruit a berry, sometimes enclosed within an inflated persistent calyx or a capsule.

Seeds: endospermic, cotyledons plain (not plicate), embryo embedded in the fleshy and semi-transparent endosperm.


Table 1. Common cultivated crops of Solanaceae family

Serial No.Bangla nameEnglish nameScientific namePlant parts used Usefulness
1MorichChiliCapsicum frutescens/

C. annum



Solanum melongenaFruitSpices
3TomatoTomatoSolanum lycopersicumFruitVegetable/fruit
4AluPotatoSolanum tuberosumTuber/stemVegetable/food
5TamakTobaccoNicotiana tabacum/

N. rustica