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Article: Deadly Nightshade

Deadly Nightshade
Weed Identification >

Deadly Nightshade

Common Name

Deadly Nightshade, Belladonna, Devil's cherries, Enchanter's nightshade, Devil’s berries

Scientific Name

Atropa belladonna





Seasons of Growth


Key Distinguishing Feature

Herbaceous plant with bell-shaped purple flowers

• It typically grows during the warmer seasons, with flowers and fruit produced in late spring and summer.

• Growth Form: Deadly Nightshade is an herbaceous plant that can reach heights of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet).

• Leaves: The leaves are large, ovate to elliptical, and have an alternate arrangement. They are typically dark green and have wavy or toothed margins.

• Flowers: The flowers are bell-shaped, nodding, and typically purplish to brownish-red in colour. They have five lobes.

• Fruit: The fruit is a small, shiny black or dark purple berry.

• Habitat: Deadly Nightshade is often found in wooded or shaded areas, as well as in disturbed habitats.

Ecological Impact:

• Deadly Nightshade is considered a highly toxic and dangerous plant. It contains tropane alkaloids, including atropine and scopolamine, which can be fatal if ingested by humans or animals.

• It is not typically considered an invasive species in natural ecosystems but is more often found as an occasional plant in suitable habitats.

Control Methods:

• Control of Deadly Nightshade in areas where it poses a risk to humans or animals is important for safety reasons.

• Mechanical methods, such as hand-pulling or cutting, can be used for small infestations.

• Protective measures, such as wearing gloves, are necessary when handling this plant, as contact with skin can be harmful.

• Herbicides may be used for control, but care must be taken to use them safely and effectively, following local regulations.

Deadly Nightshade is a plant that should be approached with extreme caution due to its high toxicity. Control measures are primarily focused on minimizing the risk of exposure to humans and animals.

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