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Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

Thursday 20th October 2011

Back in August, first on the 14th and then, again, on the 30th, I blogged that something was eating my Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade, berries. It appears that whatever it was didn’t have a very big appetite or decided it didn’t like the taste because, this morning, out in the garden doing some autumn tidying up, I took these pictures of some rather nice looking berries still completely intact on the bushes.

I don’t know if anyone has ever done a precise study but it always seems to me that you send half your time in the garden trying to get things to grow and the other half clearing that growth away and putting in the compost bin or the council green recycling skip. Perhaps it’s because I think that way, I’m on the lookout for anything to divert my attention from the job I’m supposed to be doing.

Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade

 

Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade

I don't know the botanical name for it but that arrangement of what I would call leaves at the base of the berry makes me think of a plate as if the berry is being offered to you as a treat more tempting that the ambassador's chocolates. I recommend you resist the temptation.

Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade

 

Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade

To further keep from doing actual work, I also had a look at my Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade. Here, there were some berries still looking plump and juicy but others had begun to wither away having failed in their purpose of spreading the seeds of the plant by getting eaten.

Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade

 

Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade