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Difference between Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae

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An Overview of Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae

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A family of flowering plants called Convolvulaceae includes morning glory species. Another popular name for this family is bindweed. It comprises more than 1650 species and around 60 genera. The majority of the plants in this family are herbaceous vines, trees, shrubs, and herbs. This family also includes a few additional edible tubers, such as sweet potatoes. This family's plants may be identified by their corollas, which have a funnel-like appearance and are radially symmetrical. Ergoline alkaloids can be found in several species. As a result, psychedelic medications include components from these species. Species of the Convolvulaceae family also contain the insecticidal loline alkaloid. Additionally, they may coexist well with certain fungi.

  • Kingdom: Plantae

  • Class: Angiosperms

  • Order: Solanales

  • Family: Convolvulaceae

A family of flowering plants called Solanaceae belongs to the nightshade family. This family includes vines, lianas, epiphytes, shrubs, and trees in addition to annual and perennial herbs. It also contains decorations, weeds, medicinal plants, spices, and agricultural products. This family's members generate a lot of active alkaloids, some of which are quite dangerous. Members of this family, including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and chilli peppers, are used as food. There are over 2700 species in the 98 genera that make up the Solanaceae family. Their stems can be woody, herbaceous, aerial, upright, or ascending.

  • Kingdom: Plantae

  • Class: Angiosperms

  • Order: Solanales

  • Family: Solanaceae

Similarities between Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae

  • Both families, Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae, are included in the order Solanales.

  • Both families are quite large and widely cultivated.

  • The Asterid group of dicotyledons includes plants from both families.

  • Both families of plants have flowers with five sepals, five petals, and five stamens.

  • Superior gynoecium is found in both families.

  • Alkaloids are produced by plants in both families.

Differences between Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae





Belong to the morning glory family.

Belong to nightshade family.

Number of species

1650 species under 60 genera are known.

2700 species under 98 genera are known.

Root System

Taproot system.

Tap, branched, fleshy roots.


Erect, twining, herbaceous, stems contain latex and it is rarely tuberous.

Erect, aerial, climber, herbaceous/woody.


Alternate, simple, exstipulate, petiolate, entire or palmately lobed, reticulate venation.

Alternate, simple or pinnately compound exstipulate; reticulate venation.


Cyme or solitary axillary.

Umbellate cyme, solitary axillary.


Bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous, pentamerous, bracteate, bracteolate.

Bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous, pentamerous, bracteate or ebracteate.


Five sepals, polysepalous, imbricate aestivation.

Five sepals, gamosepalous, valvate or imbricate aestivation.


Five petals, campanulate, gamopetalous, imbricate or valvate aestivation, star-shaped

Five petals, tubular, valvate or imbricate aestivation

Type of Placentation

Axile placentation, rarely basal placentation

Axile placentation


It produces hallucinogenic drugs as well as the alkaloids like ergoline and loline.

Alkaloids like nicotine, solanine, capsaicin, and tropanes are produced by this family.

Economic Importance

Showy plants for decoration: morning glory

Weeds: Dodder, Bindweed

Tuberous roosts: water spinach, sweet spinach

Food plants: potato, tomato, chilli, bell pepper etc.

Ornamental plants: Petunia

Tobacco producing plant: Nicotiana tabacum

Interesting Facts

  • Cuscuta which is a parasitic plant belongs to the family Convolvulaceae.

  • World’s largest commercial crops like brinjal, tomato, potato, chillies, tobacco etc. all come under the family Solanaceae.

  • Withania somnifera, a medicinal plant which is widely used to treat respiratory diseases, hypertension and arthritis, belongs to the family Solanaceae.

Important Questions

1. Why are the families Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae grouped under the order Solanales or polymoniales?

Ans: The order Polymoniales includes plant families like Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae mostly due to their floral/sexual characteristics. They contain a single superior complex ovary and flowers with stamens that are adjacent to the corolla lobes.

2. Why is the Solanaceae family called nightshade?

Ans: The Solanaceae family is referred to as the “Nightshade” because part of the family's flowers bloom at night and the Solanaceae family prefers to thrive in shadow. Hence, they are known as nightshades.

Practice Questions

1. Which of the following plants does not belong to the family Solanaceae?

  1. Tomato

  2. Potato

  3. Brinjal

  4. None of the above

Ans: (d)

2. What is the other name for the Convolvulaceae family?

  1. Nightshade family

  2. Morning glory family

  3. Potato family

  4. None of the above

Ans: (b)


There are five families, 165 genera, and 4080 species in the Polymoniales (Solanales) order. The families of the order Polymoniales, Convolvulaceae, and Solanaceae, are both large and well-cultivated. The morning glory family of blooming plants is called Convolvulaceae, while the nightshade family is called Solanaceae. Therefore, this is the primary distinction between Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae.

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FAQs on Difference between Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae

1. Describe the androecium and gynoecium of Convolvulaceae.

The Androecium of plants belonging to the family Convolvulaceae have five stamens which are dithecous and introrse, dorsifixed or basifixed, polyandrous, epipetalous, and the length of the filaments varies within the same flower while the gynoecium  of plants belonging to the family Convolvulaceae is bicarpellary, syncarpous, superior, present on a disc, occasionally tetralocular, axile placentation, with two or very rarely only one ovule per loculus; style simple or two (Cuscuta), filiform, stigma capitate or bifid (Convolvulus, Ipomoea palmata) and the fruit is a berry or a capsule.

2. Describe the economic importance of the Solanum species.

After grains, Solanum tuberosum (potato) is the most significant food crop. These top food stem tubers are boiled or baked and are high in sugars and carbs. Potatoes are a food source, but they are also used to make a variety of industrial goods, including dextrin, syrup, starch, and various alcohol. As a vegetable, Solanum melongena (brinjal) is consumed. It is frequently grown in warm nations. It is renowned for its range of colours and shapes. Other Solanum species that are grown in gardens are climbers. For instance, Solanum seaforthianum, Solanum dulcamara, and Solanum jasminoides all have fragrant, white flowers with blue tints.

3. Describe the androecium and gynoecium of Solanaceae.

The Androecium of the plants belonging to the family Solanaceae have five stamens which are epipetalous, polyandrous, and alternipetalous stamens with filaments inserted deep into the corolla tube. Anthers are dithecous, often basifixed or dorsifixed, introrse and inferior while the gynoecium of the plants belonging to the family Solanaceae is bicarpellary, syncarpous, bilocular but unilocular in Henoonia, superior ovary with axile placentation, the placenta is swollen, several ovules are present in each locule, ovary obliquely positioned; nectariferous disc may be present in certain instances; simple style; stigma bifid or capitate and the fruit is a berry or a capsule.

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