In all seriousness, Atropa belladonna, despite its most elegant scientific name, isn’t down to be fuxed with. Colloquially, it’s known as Deadly Nightshade, because it can kill you. It’s part of the Solanaceae family, which also includes a few of the more commonly ingested fruits and vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes. But unlike potatoes, where all you have to do is avoid or cut off the “eyes” and “you’re good”, Atropa belladonna won’t make that compromise.
From roots to berries it contains lethal amounts of tropane alkaloids, which target the parasympathetic nervous system, impairing functions like breathing and heart rate. Antidotes are available, but it’s best to avoid playing that game in the first place.
Just to be clear, we never planted it. Not even misguidedly. I promise. It simply volunteered itself and comes up now, seemingly yearly. It has been removed from the site this past week, but there remains the chance that it’ll come back up again. Usually, we have found it coming up through the evergreen bushes near the upper south side of the WestCo site. Here are some images to help you identify:
This is what the flowers look like. The plant itself is vine-like, and has running roots. This is what the berries look like:
So if you see them on site, don’t eat them. Don’t do the “I’m a cool and invincible” adolescent thing and eat one to show your friends. That’s just being a tool.
Don’t eat the poisonous plants guys,