Get your free website from Spanglefish

Woody NIGHTSHADE : Solanum dulcamara 

Also known as the bittersweet. That may indicate that it can be eaten, but that would be very foolish.

The Wildlife Trusts tell us that Bittersweet is a nightshade, so is toxic; its bright red berries may be tempting, but can cause serious illness. They go on to say though that this is one of the less toxic of the plants in this group. While edible to most birds, it is a danger to humans and livestock.

The Native Flowers website gives more details and compares it to its more dangerous namesake : The name 'Nightshade' may be a connection between the poisonous properties of this plant and that of the Deadly Nightshade (another member of the same plant family). However, although sharing the name 'Nightshade' these plants are very different in appearance and the toxins they contain. Woody Nightshade has clusters of small, star-shaped, purple-petalled and yellow-centred flowers, and bears berries that ripen to a bright-red colour. Deadly Nightshade has large, individual, purplish-black, bell-shaped flowers, and bears large berries that ripen to a black colour. Woody Nightshade contains the toxin solanine, whereas Deadly Nightshade contains the toxins atropine, scopalamine and hyoscyamine. Both plants can cause severe illness and death, but Deadly Nightshade is more toxic and likely to kill.

Our example was found on the Leven towpath near Balloch in July. Its dangling stalks exhibit striking purplish blue flowers with bright yellow stamens. 

It is quote common to the south of us, but less so in Scotland.


Some flowers taken in August.

These attractive berries also appear in August. But DO NOT be tempted by them!

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_dulcamara

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/bittersweet


Click for Map
sitemap | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement