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Wikijunior:Summer Flowers of Northern New England/Solanum dulcamara

< Wikijunior:Summer Flowers of Northern New England
Bittersweet Nightshade
(Solanum dulcamara)
Flowers, vine, leaves, and an unripe berry
Bittersweet Nightshade is a poisonous plant related to tomatoes and potatoes. The flowers have five purple petals, with a yellow style coming out of the center. The leaves and berries of this plant are poisonous to humans and cattle, but not to birds. Birds eat the berries and spread the seeds over wide areas. The leaves have an arrowhead shape, sometimes with a lobe near the base. The berries start off green, but ripen to a bright red.

Bittersweet Nightshade can climb to a height of 13 feet, but six feet is more common.

Quick Facts:
The poison in Bittersweet is called solanine and is named after this plant's genus Solanum. Note that the leaves of tomatoes and potatoes (which are in the same genus) are poisonous too!

Flowers and ripe berries