Asked on Jul 17, 2013

What is this???

April ETabbySunnie Muir Campos


Can anyone tell me what this plant is? The leaves have a unique shape that can get very dark green on top/lighter backside as the season goes on, and go all the way down the stem. It is def a perennial, and spreads like crazy, probably because the birds love the red berries it is now producing. I can now find it in all 4 corners of my yard. It is also still flowering, since late spring, w/ very swee...t little yellow-throated purple flowers, again going sporadically down each stem. If left alone, it will get quite big and bushy....any guesses? I seriously can't remember if I planted the original, or a bird brought it may have been one of the inclusions in the 36 plant pkge. I planted last year, that turned out to be kind of a disaster. I will never send away for plants again, but that's another!
14 answers
  • Stephanie Aughenbaugh
    on Jul 17, 2013

    This is Bittersweet Nightshade. Pretty but poisonous. Read about it before handling. Hope this helps. :)

  • Barbara Thomas
    on Jul 18, 2013

    Yikes! Last year I thought this was gorgeous coming through my daughter's wooden privacy fence and started placing the vine along the fence to help it spread more onto the fence. The birds love the berries in the fall. I loved the tiny flowers. How could such a pretty plant be poisonous. So sad. I guess I washed my hands after messing with it and no harm was done. Whew! She has since cut this down.

  • Pamela Robinson Porter
    on Jul 18, 2013

    I know!!! My gardening friend couldn't quite place it when she visited last week, but we agreed it would make a nice garden filler on side of the house, as the flowers are so darned cute!!! And the birdies love the berries (and this is why I find it here & there in my other gardens). I have yanked it, cut it, handled it whilst 'styling' it with no adverse reaction. My dog doesn't bother it, but I do remember my son's husky dog gnawing on the initial 2 stems growing out by the pool-I was so mad, as I thought it was something I had planted-again, no remembered illness. Hmmm, I'm considering keeping it in the side of the house garden, & remove it everywhere else. But then it will just be an ongoing battle as the birds continue feasting...what to do...

  • Barbara R
    on Jul 19, 2013

    I have nightshade and it is poisonous,very invasive, the birds don't eat the berries and in 3 years it has covered over 30 feet of my chainlink fence. I keep it so to block my neighbor's huge compost pile, but it's like a vine, takes over the lawn and the lawn mower catches on the strong vines. Good luck with it.

  • Ann Bondurant
    on Jul 19, 2013


  • Sue Weiker
    on Jul 19, 2013

    It is nightshade, and very poisonous to animals. We get it ever summer, front and back of the house, and, I pull it as soon as I see it. It is very invasive if not kept ahead of.

  • Brenda De Lair
    on Jul 19, 2013

    Pamela, I would consider pulling it and planting something a little more friendly in the garden beside your house. This "weed" can become very invasive and your neighbours may not be as accepting of the plant as you are. It is pretty, but there are plenty of other vines that are pretty and less toxic. Let's just say more "acceptable".

  • April E
    on Jul 19, 2013

    ok 1 invasive isn't always a bad thing also their are ways to contain a "invasive" plant 2 the plant does look like nightshade 3 dead nettle or lamium does not produce a berry

  • Pamela Robinson Porter
    on Jul 19, 2013

    I agree April, it is nightshade not nettle... my prob is weeds are just flowers in the wrong places. And---it is on a garden spot that is oft neglected by me and provides attractive cover...and yes-- the birds do eat the berries!

  • Carol
    on Jul 19, 2013

    To Pamela Robinson Porter. Looks like nightshade or deadly nightshade to me. A deadly poison is made from the oil extracted from the leaves.

  • Darlene T
    on Jul 21, 2013

    It is also known as "Bella Donna" (Deadly Nightshade)

  • Sunnie Muir Campos
    on Jul 30, 2013

    nightshade it is....for adults...without heart problems...may make you ill, for little children, pets and those with heart conditions it can be deadly...has a nasty smell when the stems are broken and is very berries in the winter and animals do not eat!!! Not recommended to keep uless you are a certified herbalist and use this in some preps

  • Tabby
    on Jul 30, 2013

    Very hard to get rid of. My neighbor lets it grow on his side of the fence and I can't keep it from getting onto my flower beds where it strangles my stuff. Hate it. Bad bad stuff.

  • April E
    on Aug 2, 2013

    @Pamela Robinson Porter If you like if keep it. Too many people give their opinion of a plant when posting here instead of just facts. What is "invasive" to one person is just good spreading cover to another. Also, what is classified as invasive in 1 state could be a annual or noninvasive in another, this is why fact is more important than opinion. While nightshade (belladonna) is considered toxic it is also used as a medication. The name “belladonna” means “beautiful lady,” and was chosen because of a risky practice in Italy. The belladonna berry juice was used historically in Italy to enlarge the pupils of women, giving them a striking appearance. This was not a good idea, because belladonna can be poisonous.Though widely regarded as unsafe, belladonna is used as a sedative, to stop bronchial spasms in asthma and whooping cough, and as a cold and hay fever remedy. It is also used for Parkinson's disease, colic, motion sickness, and as a painkiller.Belladonna is used in ointments that are applied to the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), leg pain caused by a disc in the backbone pushing on the sciatic nerve (sciatica), and nerve pain (neuralgia). Belladonna is also used in plasters (medicine-filled gauze applied to the skin) for treating psychiatric disorders, a behavior disorder called hyperkinesis, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), and bronchial asthma.Rectally, belladonna is used in hemorrhoid suppositories. TMi I am aware but these are the facts.

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