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Thread: Help!...Is this Deadly Nightshade?

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    janeyo's Avatar
    janeyo is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default Help!...Is this Deadly Nightshade?

    My Aunt who came to the party yesterday was looking at the bit of garden with my son's flowers and ornaments etc... and tells me I have deadly nightshade growing in his patch!

    I have googled it and can't find conclusive pics to say it is or isn't... any thoughts?

    It's a smallish plant at the mo, looks a little like a nettle with white flowers and green berries. There is lots of it in his patch. A pic is attached



    If it is how do I get rid? Will obviously have to move his 'garden' to a new place next year.

    Very worried about this!

    Thanks janeyo

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    Hi Janeyo,

    It doesnt look like the Belladonna we grew a few years back, the flowers were a dusky dark purpl, shaped like a bell, and there was a lot more foliage, but I'm afraid I can't be certain, we lost ours a year or so back, it just withered and died off, and nothing else grows there now! (Almost as though it had been poisoned by someone - that patch of the garden doesnt grow anything anymore!)

    Hope someone else can help identify it!
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    Looks like it could be check thisAtropa belladonna - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Hi thanks mrs D and Cloud. I still can't find any concrete evidence - there are different types. I have seen pics that look like mine and others that really don't.

    I don't want to go and weedkill a whole great patch of ground for no good reason - but on the other hand I don't want any of my sons friends or indeed my son to be poisoned. We encourage him to pick stuff from the veggie patch and he know to ask first etc. But I also have veggies in the flower garden and it's an inthinkable thought should he decide to try a green berry when my back is turned.

    By the time I have sent a sample off to make certain it could have already been eaten!

    Maybe I should cover the whole patch with netting or something in the meantime?

    janeyo

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    Yes, it certainly looks like Deadly Nightshade. If those little green berries turn black, you can be sure.

    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

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    I thought it was as well.

    Its definitely solonaceae, which is nightshade family, and toxic.

    Dig it up, it will have fleshy roots like bindweed.
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    It looked to me more like WOODY Nightshade, except that woody nightshade usually has mauve flowers. If potatoes 'go wild' and produce fruit, it is very similar (with white flowers), and also toxic. Woody nightshade and 'potato apples' are somewhat toxic, but not in the same league as belladonna. Get rid of it anyway, but don't panic. It would take a number of berries (and I believe they are bitter) to do worse than cause a nasty tummy upset. I would suggest TELLING him that this one is defintely not fit to eat, and will make him feel ill, and then get him to help find all of them to treat with a 'touch' weedkiller. You'd be surprised how well children can manage that sort of thing.
    Last edited by Hilary B; 14-07-2008 at 09:25 PM. Reason: typo
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    The flower is MUCH more like woody than deadly nightshade. Woody nightshade has a purple flower with a yellow anther cone and the berries are red when ripe. I suspect it's black nightshade which has a white flower and black berry when ripe. In some parts of the country they are both referred to as deadly nightshade but this is a different plant. These two will make you feel a bit ill but deadly nightshade is a serious toxin. It's botanicaly a different kettle of fish - known commonly as belladonna. However, in all cases you shouldn't eat a berry of a wild solanum (unless it's a tomato near the sewage works!)

    Edit - appartently it's a common greenhouse weed in commercial glass houses in the south of England.
    Last edited by Flummery; 15-07-2008 at 09:04 AM. Reason: added Edit
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