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Where Does Deadly Nightshade Grow In The Us? [5 Replies Found]

Atropa belladonna is a Eurasian perennial with reddish, bell-shaped flowers that bear glossy-coated, black berries 😁 Other names for the plant include belladonna, deadly nightshade, devil’s berries, naughty man’s cherries, death cherries, beautiful death, and devil’s herb 🙈 The plant earns its sinister nicknames, as its foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing potent dosages of tropane alkaloids. Its most common name, belladonna, derives from Italian, meaning “beautiful woman.” Historically, women have used the herb’s oil to dilate and enlarge the pupils for seductive effect. But it’s best known as the plant of choice for assassins through history. [1]
It is easy to see why nightshade, a highly toxic compound, was still used. There are many good reasons to use poisonous nightshade, as with other poisonous plants. The Romans used belladonna as a biological weapon to contaminate their enemies’ food reserves. In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the Scottish army defeats the Danes by contaminating their liquor supply with belladonna, inducing a deep, comatose sleep, and murdering them in their hapless state. Deadly nightshade was also an important plant in the medieval witches’ pharmacopoeia in brews and salves, used as a constituent in their flying ointments. Germans developed a poisonous, non-obtrusive nerve gas during World War II. Atropine was the only remedy for its paralyzing effects. George Price, Bordeaux, France (adopted July 9, 2021). [2]
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DANGER! The berries and foliage are highly toxic. The properties are sedative and narcotic. They also affect the central nervous system. The effects of small doses are stimulating and paralysing. Belladonna poisoning is a condition that manifests in 15 minutes. Belladonna, one of the most poisonous plants in the Eastern Hemisphere is also known as the “Belladonna”. Tropane alkaloids are found in every part of the plant. Because berries look like blueberries, they pose the most danger for children. They are also quite sweet and may be confused with them. Two to five berries per adult could be deadly. Although the root is the most poisonous part of the plant, it can be varied from one species to the next. A single leaf from the plant may prove fatal for an adult. Atropine disrupts the ability of the parasympathetic nerve system to regulate voluntary activities such as breathing, sweating and heart beat. This is what causes deadly effects in this plant. Belladonna poisoning can be treated with physostigmine and pilocarpine. Last modified by Arely Darnell, Vilnius, Lithuania. [3]
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Recent reports available on greenbelly.co This explains why the old saying “Leaves of Three, Let them Be” can be a good rule to remember if you don’t want to come in contact with common poisonous plants. Others plants have this characteristic too, but it is safest to just avoid touching plants with three leaves. The center of poison ivy has one large leaf and two smaller leaves to the sides. This is the shape of the leaf varies but they all end in a point. Reddish leaves appear in spring and summer, while green turns to yellow/orange during autumn. The leaves can make your skin extremely itchy for long periods. The spread of poison ivy can be found in all 50 states, with the exception of Hawaii, Alaska and some parts the southwestern deserts. Last edited by Anber Bonner, San Jose, Costa Rica. [4]
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Refer to the Article

  1. https://slate.com/technology/2014/08/poisonous-plants-belladonna-nightshade-is-the-celebrity-of-deadly-flora.html
  2. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/Mind_and_Spirit/belladonna.shtml
  3. https://www.localharvest.org/blog/39774/entry/part_2_of_poisonous_plants
  4. https://www.greenbelly.co/pages/poisonous-plants-identification-guide
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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