Deadly Nightshade

To the nightshade family belong plants that are poisonous and plants

that are not, but the thrilling name, deadly nightshade, carries with it

the certainty of poison.

The plant is an annual and you may often find it growing in a neglected

corner of the garden as well as in waste places. It is a tall plant; the

one I remember in our own garden reached to the top of a five-foot board

fence. Its leaves are rather triangular in shape, they are dark green

and the wavy edges are notched rather than toothed. The flowers are

white and grow in small clusters. The fruit is a berry, round, black,

and smooth, with calyx adhering to it. The berry clusters grow at the

end of drooping stems. This must not be mistaken for the high-bush

blueberry, for to eat the fruit would be most dangerous.

The antidotes for nightshade poison are emetics, cathartics, and

stimulants. The poison should be thrown off the stomach first, then

strong coffee be given as a stimulant.