What is Deadly Nightshade?

Deadly Nightshade is in the same family as other nightshade plants like Tomatoes and Eggplants but it is not the same when it comes to being edible, it is also known as Belladonna.

The berries start out as green bitter berries as they ripen they turn black and are sweet but still very poisonous.

All parts of this plant are poisonous but the berries can be deadly to humans, symptoms can vary widely from blurred vision and hallucinations to convulsions and even death.

What compounds make Deadly Nightshade so poisonous?  Atropine and Scopolamine 

If you are wondering how Deadly Nightshade got started in your garden when you never planted it.  The answer is like most plants that start and you never planted them they were started when birds ate the berries or seeds and pooped them out to start growing in your yard.

The bad thing about Deadly Nightshade is how easily the seeds will germinate and grow, they are found throughout North America.

Whenever you see these plants growing it is best to pull them up immediately and I would recommend you wear gloves.  If you notice any berries fall off the plant when you pull them up be sure to gather those and throw them in your garbage, do not put them in your compost pile.

The berries are less poisonous when they are black and ripe but can still be deadly if too many are consumed.  It is best to keep check your yard in late Summer and early Fall to make sure any children or pets do not have access to them to eat since the berries can be sweeter as they ripen and more attractive to eat.

Now that you know what is Deadly Nightshade and the poisonous nature of the plant and the fruit it is critical to keep an eye out for it growing in your yard so that you can remove it immediately.



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