By far the greatest number of Solanum species occur in South America, especially on the slopes of the Andes, but secondary centers of diversity and endemism are found in North America and Mexico, Central America, eastern Brazil, the West Indies, Australia, Africa, and Madagascar.
Distribution of Solanum, map produced by the Cartographic Research Lab, University of Alabama. Solanum has a global distribution, marked by the black line on the world map. Within this range are several hotspots of high species diversity, indicated by red shading.
Within their range, Solanum species occupy a huge diversity of habitats, from some of the wettest forests in the world to the driest deserts. Solanum species are found throughout a huge altitudinal range, from sea level to over 4500 m (ca. 13,500 ft) in the case of some potatoes.
|High altitude, an example of a Solanum habitat.||Wet forest, an example of a Solanum habitat.||Coastal desert, an example of a Solanum habitat.|