Northam-Pithara Rd

Road repair Northam-Pithara Rd

Finishing off the road resurfacing out at Kondut, and a quick repair back at Cunjardine.


I have been told that this is called the “Deadly Nightshade”  (Atropa belladonna) , the name “bella donna” is derived from Italian and means “beautiful woman” because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.

All parts of deadly nightshade contain tropane alkaloids (group of toxic chemicals) that induce strong hallucinations, delirium, blurred vision, headache and loss of balance (among other symptoms).

Consumption of one or two fresh belladonna berries mildly affects perception in adults. This effect outsets in one or two hours after the berries have been ingested. Three to four fresh berries act as a psychoactive aphrodisiac, and three to ten berries are a hallucinogenic dose. The lethal dose for adults is ten to twenty berries, depending on the physiological constitution of the consumer. Consumption of two or three berries by children can be lethal.

 

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UPDATE

09/07/17

Partially because the photo wasn’t the best and because I wanted to know more about this plant, I decided to take the trip back out to Cunjardine to take a few more photos.

As it turns out this isn’t  the “Deadly Nightshade”  (Atropa belladonna)

Deadly nightshade has bell-shaped flowers that are dull purple with green tinges.

Belladonna
Deadly Nightshade flower

Its berry grows singularly and not in clumps or groups.

Atropa Belladonna
Deadly Nightshade Berry

What I was shown was either the American Black Nightshade (Solanum americanum) or the European Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum)

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Black Knightshade found
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Black Knightshade found with white five-pointed flowers.

Even though I’m told that you can eat and make jam out of the ripe berries, I’m not too sure that I would risk it unless shown and told by an expert.

 


 

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