Black Night­shade


(Solanum amer­i­canum)


Deadly Night­shade

(Atropa bel­ladonna)

Amer­i­can Black Night­shade berries and leaves are tra­di­tion­ally eaten by Na­tive Amer­i­cans as well as modern cul­tures in Cen­tral Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. Black Night­shade also has more pro­tein, calo­ries, fiber, cal­cium, iron, B vi­ta­mins, and vi­ta­min C than spinach.

Deadly Night­shade, on the other hand, can cause delir­ium, hal­lu­ci­na­tions, and death when eaten in large quan­ti­ties. “This is the most likely deadly dop­pel­gänger to get you into trou­ble,” Lee said. “Avoid­ing both va­ri­eties, if you’re un­sure, would be your best bet.”

Tell Them Apart: “The most ob­vi­ous way to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween them is that the edi­ble Black Night­shade berries grow in bunches, as op­posed to Deadly Night­shade berries which grow in­di­vid­u­ally. Re­mem­ber that only the ripe berries can be eaten safely, and the leaves still need to be boiled be­fore con­sump­tion.”

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