An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Nightshade, Black - Solanum nigrum - family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family).

This annual-to-perennial plant grows to about three feet high. It has lance-shaped leaves and in the spring, summer and fall it produces clusters of white star-shaped flowers with yellow centers (anthers). The flowers are followed by round berries that ripen from green to black in color. The berries each contain many seeds.Traditional American, European and African folk use of leaves as a potherb. Traditional American folk use of berries in pies. Traditional European folk use of leaves and berries as a sedative and a painkiller. Note: solanine, a large poisonous alkaloid, with the formula C45H73NO15, is found in all parts of the plant. Note: very toxic plant, do not take internally. Native to Europe and Asia. Naturalized in North America. Naturalized in California.


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Web page last updated on 22 May 2003.