Sunday, November 10, 2013

American nightshade.

Working outside this afternoon, doing nothing of particular import except enjoying the fresh air, I was easily distracted when V2 happened by and flushed a grey fox out from a clump of blackberries, adjacent to the Pinot grigio vines, where it was apparently having an afternoon nap.  Always ready to indulge my little terrier mix in any canine-caper she chooses, I joined in hot pursuit of the fox across the creek, behind an oak tree, where it disappeared into another clump of blackberries.  Oh well.  It was then that I spotted a couple of nightshade plants growing at my feet. 
The American nightshade (Solanum americanum) reappears in the same spot beside the creek, next to the pokeweed, every year.  The nightshade is a rather winsome little plant; it's flowers are very pretty; it's immature berries are very shiny and green; it's mature berries are even shinier and black.  These plants can be toxic to animals and humans when ingested as they contain glycoalkaloids, including solanine which can also be found in sprouting potatoes.  However, the degree of toxicity varies depending upon plant population, plant maturity and environmental conditions.  And whether or not a certain little black and white dog's belly is full because she, perhaps, already dined upon a certain Mr. Basil Brush.  Boom! Boom!

10 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Vinogirl, I like this journal and the picture!
I thought that the D-Night shade berries turned yellow to red before it turned black?

Thomas said...

This year I screwed up with some of my potatoes and didn't get them enough shade. The green means glycoalkaloids--do not eat. Lost about 15 pounds of potatoes out of a total of about 70-80 pounds.

About Last Weekend said...

OH whatever happened to Basil Brush - he must be selling jewelry on the Shopping Channel by now, having been in re-hab four times...or is that me being cynical. Am also wondering now what happened to Sherri and her lamb, maybe teamed up together?

Thud said...

winsome,losesome?

Thud said...

ALW, Basil now lives in Essex with his new Russian wife and is doing very well in green eco energy installation.... the pics of him and lambchop never surfaced but the rumours continue.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: This is not Belladonna.

Tomasso: Good job you are of Italian extraction...if you were Irish you'd be starving right now!

ALW: He was a rather dapper little chappy, far too stylish for a home shopping channel host.

Thud: Tiresome?

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

http://www.myfinepix.es/gallery/62093/143218

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Pretty photograph, but Deadly Nightshade is 'Atropa belladonna' whilst my plants are 'Solanum americanum'.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Doh!
Thanks for opening my otherwise closed eyes!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: We're clear now then :)