Species: Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

Family: Nightshades (SOLANACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Nightshades (SOLANACEAE)

Members of this family are often poisonous, though no more than a lot of other families. It includes important food plants such as potato, tomato, peppers, and aubergines.

C. Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

The bright green or purple bell-shaped flowers of this tall native perennial appear in June, followed by black berries. The juice from the berries was used by Italian women to enlarge the pupils of their eyes, which they felt made them appear more beautiful, hence 'belladonna' - 'beautiful lady'. Incredibly, the juice is still used in medicinal preparations, for a wide range of disorders, though it is reasonable to ask if the life of the patient ends up shorter than the life of the pathogen.


Deadly Nightshade

The brown-purple-green nodding bell flowers of Deadly Nightshade start their flowering in mid-June in our part of the country.