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unidentified plant in my garden

Beverly Erlebacher bae at cs.toronto.edu
Sat Jun 15 15:09:18 EST 2002

In article <3D09DDC7.B0B9744E at voila.fr>,
nullepart  <driveblind at voila.fr> wrote:
>Cereoid+1 wrote:
>> Your plant may be Solanum nigrum, the "black nightshade". It is a very
>> poisonous. plant. The seeds were probably brought by bird droppings.
>ohmigod. thanks so much. the pictures match exactly my plant. I'm removing as
>soon as i go home.
>in the same pot as this plant, I have 2 rosemary bushes, 2 basil plants, a
>lot of sage, dill weed and chives. Will I have to throw them away, or are
>they ok?

Don't panic.  I don't recommend you eat the berries or leaves, but they aren't
all that poisonous, probably no worse than potato leaves and berries, or
tomato leaves, all of which would make you pretty sick if you ate enough of
them.  Your other herb plants should be just fine.

There are some nightshades that have been developed to have edible berries.
Luther Burbank even pushed one of them.  You still see them for sale in home
gardener seed catalogs.  I don't know whether they are S.nigrum, S.dulcimara,
another species or a complex hybrid, however.  S.dulcimara has purple flowers.
None of them taste very good anyway.  Note that potatoes and eggplants 
(aubergines) are in the same genus, Solanum, as nightshades.  There are some
African and Indian species of Solanum which are used as leafy vegetables.

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