A poisonous member of the Solonacea family that includes potatoes and tomatoes, but also deadly nightshade. Can be a prolific weed in the garden with a bushy habit growing to around 100cm. White flowers and black berries. There are at least two varieties, a species complex and cultivated versions, some of which are edible (sometimes after special preparation) – but not the wild UK variety. Ingestion causes effects delayed by 6 – 12 hours including vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, confusion, and abdominal pains.
|Common Names||Black Nightshade, Black nightshade, Blackberry nightshade|
|Scientific Name||Solanum nigrum|
On separate stems opposite to leaves, White in clusters, with 5 petals and a yellow centre. 10-15mm. Very similar to tomato.
Clusters of tomato like berries, starting green ripening to black, 5-10mm. Structure like a tomato, many seeds in a soft pulp.
Woody Nightshade, pictured, is similar but has purple flowers.
Edible varieties are cultivated around the world, but it is never a high quality crop, eaten by the poor, the berries sometimes made into jam.
in Cameroon, West Africa we eat the leaves, thouroughly cooked as they can be bitter. they are an accompaniment to meat and fufu dishes.