Plant Base Online (beta)
common name: Deadly Nightshade
poisonous or irritant
full sun, part shade
dry soil, moist soil
preferred soil pH: neutral-alkaline
minimum temp: -18°C
USDA zone: 7 to 9
Perennial or biennial wildflower famous for its very poisonous berries. Robust erect habit and pointed ovate leaves up to 20 cm long, the upper ones in opposite pairs. Solitary or paired bell-shaped flowers of dark brownish purple with yellowish and violet veining inside, from June to September. Shiny black berries in autumn, framed by the persistent calyx.
Prefers well drained, humus-rich, neutral to alkinine soils. Sun or part shade. Often found on disturbed ground, tracksides, scubland and open woodland, especially in areas of chalk or limestone.
Contains the drug atropine, with a long history of medicinal use.
The juice of the plant has also been used as a cosmetic, which is where the name belladonna, "beautiful lady", derives.
All parts of the plant are extemely toxic, just a few berries can cause death in children.
Native to most of Britain, as well as Europe and parts of Asia.